“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” -― Mahatma Gandhi
There simply comes a time when questions need to be answered (REVIEW: 29 Dead Wild Horses in Murderer’s Creek Capture Report, BLM Cover Up, Again – review at: http://www.veteran-journalist.com) by the Bureau of Land Management and their incompetent management of America’s Heritage, the Wild Horse Herds on Our Public Lands.
Keep the interview in mind below, when reading the remainder of the article, also keep in mind the only reason many of the BLM employees still around today, and within management, is due to this investigation below being called off, in the early 1990’s, and over 2,000 Felony Warrants, and over 1,000 Misdemeanor Warrants for arrest were canceled as well — the reasoning, the BLM just too large to serve that many warrants!:
“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)
But we delve further into this chaos and discover the Environmental Assessments, at Murderer’s Creek, Oregon and that assume roundups of Wild Horses necessary. But as usual, we find the information fraudulent and misinformed at best. The BLM’s assessment, their Wild Horse Count numbers for example, certainly in error.
“Based on the current estimated population (2012 population inventory) of 213 adult wild horses for the Murderer’s Creek HMA, it has been determined there are 113 animals in excess of the objective herd size of 100 horses set in the RMP/ROD and 2007 HMAMP. The amount of excess wild horses is determined by subtracting the current estimated population by the objective herd size of 100 horses.” (from the BLM EA and Project Plan)
“The BLM needs to remove at least 113 excess wild horses currently within the HMA to achieve AML. This assessment is based on the following factors including, but not limited to:
2012 population estimates for the HMA indicate there are 113 wild horses in excess of the herd size objective of 100 horses as described in the John Day Resource Management Plan/Final EIS. Page 2 of 93 [Author’s NOTE: Very Questionable.]
Use by wild horses is exceeding the forage allocated to their use by approximately 110 percent based on the objective herd size of 100 animals.” (i.e. see BLM EA) [NOTE: this has been proven to be untrue.]
Then we run across yet another conundrum, Forestry versus BLM information! It’s definitely unclear how many horses are roaming the Malheur (i.e. Murderer’s Creek HMA, et al). Forestry officials have estimated the population at about 400, but the count done in January 2008 found only 115 horses. So according to this published data, by the forestry, how can a “good” decision be made? Especially based on the over-population circumstance given to the public by the BLM or Forestry, within either one of their Environmental Assessments and need for roundups at Murderer’s Creek?
The Forest Service believes that count is low, and says in documents that there are between 200 and 250 animals on the forest. The Stouts (Welfare Rancher’s who want to place more of their cattle on Public Lands via Permit) challenge that number and call for the population to be reduced to 100 horses, the number set by the area’s 1975 Wild Horse Plan — not the WH&B ACT for HMA’s, but the BLM’s Plant. You can start to see the confusion just within their few statement here and within their documents — A Conquer By Confusion psychology, if you will, and make lots of money from taxpayer’s!
Keep in mind these conflicting reports, and numbers specifically, cost the taxpayer’s money, in the $ millions of dollars — if not $ billions. This is due to falsification of numbers, numbers and counts established on political agendas rather than correct data bases; or just outright favoring the friends and neighbors of BLM within a given area in order to make money (sometimes things are very obvious and simple):
. . . in this case the private contractors who were hired by BLM to complete a Bait and Trap roundup of wild horses – ultimately killing 29 wild horses, at a cost of $29,000 dollars to do so and from taxpayer money! Disgusting, isn’t it! [NOTE: this roundup pays $1,000 per horse – dead or alive. No one checks for circumstance, or is in the area checking for honesty, from the BLM.]
BLM currently, the Supervisor in charge of the Private Contractors, did not know about the 29 Dead Horses until the estimates and counts (received by us via FOIA) were delivered, and mentioned by us to him! Yet one supervisor claims all horses had to be delivered to Prineville, Oregon BLM Corrals for count to be paid? Yet he claims only 3 dead horses in 2 years have died there? Many questions exist here, yet go unanswered — 29 dead horses and $29,000 paid out to contractors! Your Money!
Is this falsification of Voucher’s (for $29,000 and certainly a Felony)? Or, is the Supervisor covering up something else, more expensive and more costly to the taxpayer’s?
Controversy and Reality of a True Assessment
The Murderers Creek herd became the focus of controversy in 2006. The area supports cattle, wild horses, elk and other wildlife, as well timber extraction, recreation and streams that are spawning grounds for threatened steelhead and bull trout. A series of lawsuits challenged grazing permits on the forest, and claimed cattle grazing was degrading salmon-bearing streams (basically riparian areas being destroyed by cattle).
An injunction was granted in the spring of 2008, cattle were taken off of grazing allotments on the Malheur (i.e. Murderer’s Creek areas). The Welfare Rancher’s, cattle ranchers from Dayville, Oregon, were told they could no longer graze cattle on their 62,000-acre allotment along Murderers Creek and nearby Deer Creek, due to destruction of Public Lands and riparian area (biosphere) damage.
The Welfare Rancher’s then, with no consideration toward taxpayer money, and the subsidies that they receive for grazing Public Lands (taxpayer based subsidies), only qualification was their BLM Grazing Permits, blamed the Wild Horses.
The Federal Court hearing cost the taxpayers in the millions, over several years of time. The final demand by the Court, the Federal Court Judge stated clearly that innuendo and lies involved in the proceedings against the Wild Horses were untrue, they did not devastate the surrounding riparian areas – rather it was the cattle that created the ongoing damages. It was then stated that a settlement had to occur, or else!
Outstanding and Daunting facts of scientific research (plentiful) contradicted, and still contradicts BLM’s Environmental Assessment’s directly, as well as the truthful necessity toward any of their roundups. Many grassland and terrestrial biological studies have found that horses spend less time in riparian areas than cattle, and that an abundance of literature shows that cattle grazing has a greater impact on riparian areas by far.
The degradation is apparent throughout the Malheur (i.e. Murderer’s Creek HMA) where cattle are grazed, and especially where horses are not present. Then we discover one of the testimonies’ to be deranged at best – the individual testified that he seen numerous horse-hoof prints along the stream beds at Murderer’s Creek, but photos in Court clearly showed the prints to be made from grazing cattle (the Judge at the hearing simply nodded and shook head, rolled eyes, in disbelief, once again).
Often where the issue is about horse impacts on grazing areas, several research studies seldom separate cattle from the horses, and generate their report by “hooved livestock” which also ironically include deer and Elk. Yes, wild horse herds have paid dearly in this situation, even though innocent.
But the studies that do separate wild horses (for example) from cattle, do find that low elevation plots where horses do roam and graze, did exhibit notably greater plant species richness, higher percentage of cover, and abundance of grasses and shrubs. The study’s also established that at higher elevations, meadows protected from once grazing cattle (on Public Lands) grew 4.5 times higher than normal, and much faster as well.
BLM’s Fabrication of FACT’S
After perusing the many scientific studies and research, that is good science and not just because it is agreeable to advocate’s, but because the data is based on thorough research and facts, and the researcher’s well respected within their fields of study. Just a tid-pit note here — Today, many of the respected and well experienced researcher’s are contradicting much of the information BLM and Forestry are currently giving to the public and taxpayer’s.
But the contradictions, and there exist many with both the BLM and the Forestry, for the need for Wild Horse Herd Roundups, become nothing more than money makers for both, and to include local neighbors and friends., and corporations and either coercion or intimidation tactics from Welfare Rancher’s toward government employees! Yes, this burdensome situation adds to even more cost from taxpayer money — the mom and pop ranchers no longer exist, the cut-throat and the hell with everyone — and the rancher’s perception that they deserve entitlements “just because” (so they suppose) is the Public Lands rancher of today! Make no doubt of this!
So now we go to the Policy Statement and Abstract of the BLM’s EA
Purpose and Need — The purpose of the proposed action is to gather and remove wild horses in excess of AML on the Murderer’s Creek HMA. This action is necessary to achieve and maintain a population size within the established AML, protect rangeland resources from further deterioration associated with the current overpopulation, and restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on public lands in the area consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b)(2) of the WFRHBA of 1971. (reference — U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-OR-P040-2011-0048-EA Murderer’s Creek HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan . . . )
[IN REALITY: the roundups do none of what is mentioned here and hereafter within the EA and toward any type of environmental resolution – indeed, taxpayer’s and wild horses lose again]!
What is especially found troubling here is: “. . . protect rangeland resources from further deterioration associated with the current overpopulation, . . “ (meaning horses) and BLM and Forestry’s recommendations to remove horses, with no legitimate science that will backup their claim — although keep in mind, an Environmental Assessment supposedly is predicated on the fact of making decisions based upon good science – BLM’s policy and the biggest of all THEIR LIES – And because of the inadequate and confusing context of their EA’s, the least approachable, but the most costly in taxpayer money and death of wild horses!
There is no use in reading Environmental Assessments from either of these agencies. Not only are they erroneous, based of falsified or troubling research, but remain misleading within the context of the subject matter. It can appear they know what they are doing, but proof-positive shows differently when action taken upon their misinformation and lies to the Public. Reasoning and common sense is totally out the window, all the while making decisions on such trivial pursuits of misinformation.
Once again the American Public, taxpayer’s, are being ripped off by fabrication of facts, lies, criminality, and innuendo. The truth of the matter is these government agencies strongly feel they can not only get away with it, but have gotten away with it up to this point in time.
On 1/22/2015, remember this date. Wild Horse Advocates stood and made the attempt to let the public know, American’s and Taxpayers alike all of us, and was censored by the BLM, with welfare ranchers in attendance booing and hissing at the Advocates — Welfare ranchers essentially taking part in violating the Constitution and the very elements of Free Speech. . . Yet, these welfare ranchers will bilk billions of dollars in taxpayer money via loopholes in antiquated laws and government policies — and at the same time demand their Constitutional Rights be upheld, in order to scam the public and American taxpayers for even more tax money.
It is time to put an end to welfare ranching, and place Wild Horses back onto Public Lands — AMERICA’S PUBLIC LANDS!
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June 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm
WOW !Another awesome article full of info. Many thanks, John, will share,.
June 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm
Double check your numbers, the contractor (Horse Trappers LLC) was paid $374,524 for the recent Murderer’s Creek wild horse trapping … not $29,000. ( usaspending.gov )
Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the public who own the horses and burros and this land.
June 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm
We ought to apply for a contract and then do what’s right for the wild horses. Put them back where they belong like the zeroed out HMA’s . Just dreaming of course.
June 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm
Auctioneer 1st Man Charged Under California Law To Protect Horses From Slaughter
SOURCE: CBS San Francisco
The case is the talk of the town in Madera. Sheriff John Anderson has arrested a well-known businessman for an almost unheard of crime. “He will be treated no differently than anyone else,” Anderson said
That is a felony in California. A law was passed in 1998 to protect horses. This is the first time that it has ever been enforced
Photographer and Journalist
June 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm
The money amount is only in reference (approximately) to the 29 Horses killed Directly, as listed on their (the BLM’s) rounded-up horses from Murderer’s Creek — yes, the Total amount being $374,524.00 up to this point (but millions spent on roundups domestically and monthly) — It is my understanding there still exists two trap sites, still active but closed supposedly 90% of the time, no bait — one on BLM and one on Forestry Land. I mentioned the fact it was apparent the contract ran out, then I was told they were going to shut the sites down — We have not gone out there yet, to see if they are currently shut-down, as they should be!
June 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm
I.G.H.A. / HorseAid’s Bureau of Land Management News
The First Public Signs of Internal Dissent…
DENVER (CSM feed) — More than 40,000 wild mustangs roam on public lands in the West, federally protected as living symbols of American heritage. Since 1971, the Bureau of Land Management (under the “Wild Horse Annie Act”) has been responsible for maintaining mustang herds and administering a popular adopt-a-horse program. But allegations of criminal activities within the BLM – including slaughter-for-profit schemes – are casting a shadow over the agency.
Former and current employees say shady dealings are customary in the BLM horse program. “The American public is being cheated out of millions of dollars a year,” says Steven Sederwall, a BLM law-enforcement agent who retired last year. “In 23 years as a cop, I’ve never seen anything like the depth of corruption I’ve seen in the BLM.” Last year, Mr. Sederwall and five former colleagues sent a nine-page letter to US Attorney General Janet Reno, detailing “an ever-growing list of felony criminal violations committed by the Bureau of Land Management.” Charges include BLM employees selling wild horses to slaughterhouses and rodeo circuits; falsified financial and horse inventory records; misappropriation of funds; and obstruction of justice during investigations.
Bureau officials say the accusations are unfounded. “The vast majority of these allegations are up to 15 years old. These are not things that are happening now,” says Bob Johns, Washington spokesman for the BLM, a division of the Department of the Interior. Walter Johnson, chief of law enforcement for the BLM, says he has seen no evidence to support the charges. “I am not aware of either myself or any member of my staff doing anything inappropriately, or involving any criminal action. I will not comment on anything unless it is firsthand knowledge to me.” But in a June 1993 memorandum to the Interior Department inspector general, Mr. Johnson wrote regarding a federal investigation in New Mexico: “Through the initial phase of the investigation, it is apparent that administrative actions by some BLM wranglers and program administrators have not been in compliance with the direction and guidance provided…. In many of the adoptions and group adoptions reviewed, personnel from BLM apparently promoted the adoption of horses for commercial gain.” Federal law prohibits the government from selling wild horses to slaughterhouses and other commercial operations.
To keep herd size in check, the BLM is charged with rounding up 6,000 to 9,000 wild horses per year and offering them for adoption. Adopters are required to pay a $125 fee and wait one year before taking legal title to a horse. The provisions are intended to reduce the incidence of profit-motivated adoptions. But sources inside the BLM say thousands of horses are taken illegally from rangelands each year. If money changes hands, it’s strictly off the books. As for documented adoptions, sources say backdated paperwork is a common tactic to give adopters quicker title to a horse. After one year, an adopted wild horse may be sold at will. A 1,000-pound horse will typically bring $700 to $900 on the slaughter market. An untrained riding horse, on the other hand, may sell for only $300 to $400.
BUT those accusing the BLM of wrong-doing suffered a setback last month. The Justice Department has aborted a long-running investigation in Del Rio, Texas, which involved group adoptions of hundreds of horses arranged by two BLM wranglers. A federal grand jury was convened in 1994 to investigate allegations by unnamed neighbors that James Galloway, a BLM-contracted wrangler, had taken 36 mustangs to his father-in-law’s ranch, reportedly to fatten them for slaughter. Mr. Galloway also allegedly kept untitled horses in other locations. But no charges were filed against Galloway.
John Murphy, assistant US attorney in San Antonio, says the case was dropped because it “lacked prosecutive merit.” Sederwall, who led the initial Del Rio investigation for the BLM, claims the agency is hiding something. “We’ve got all the evidence, but they successfully covered it up.” He contends that Galloway was ready to implicate BLM officials. “They couldn’t prosecute Galloway because he was going to turn evidence against the BLM. Galloway only did what they taught him,” Sederwall says. Sederwall says he was taken off the Del Rio case after he uncovered incriminating evidence against BLM management. He and 14 other investigators were ordered not to speak to the grand jury, he says. Eventually, these agents were all reportedly transferred, fired, or pressured into early retirement. Reed Smith, deputy state BLM director for New Mexico until he retired in 1994, maintains “BLM management fought the Del Rio investigation with everything they had.”
Karen Sussman, president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, says the problem is an inherent BLM conflict of interest. “The BLM manages for land and cattle. Traditionally, they’re committed to ranching. Not wild horses.” Ranchers, who pay the government to graze their cattle on rangelands, consider mustangs a competitor for forage, making wild-horse rustling a longstanding and accepted tradition in the West. Another federal grand jury is reviewing allegations of internal fraud in the Jackson, Miss., BLM office. The US attorney there would not comment on the investigation. But a BLM employee in the Jackson office says, “What this program has done in reality is make a few people very rich…. You can talk to rangers, special agents, BLM people all over the US, who have independently come to the same conclusion,” he says. “If a dozen people are hollering smoke, smoke, smoke, there has got to be fire.”
Photographer and Journalist
June 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm
The article you are summarizing or placed here is from 1991-1993. But thank you for pointing out the situation then, and it still exists currently.
June 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm
Yes, that is what is so very apparent….NOTHING has changed. It appears that the only thing that has is WHO gets the money and WHO gets the bill. Before the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, it was the “Mustangers” that got the money.
Now it is the Federal Government/Federal Contractors that get the money and the American Taxpayers foot the bill…for having their Wild Horses and Burros removed from THEIR Public Lands.