Copied from the BLM website:
July 7, 2011
Contact: Tom Alvarez, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 244-3097
Environmental Assessment for Piceance-East Douglas Wild Horse Gather Available for Public Comment
Meeker, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management, Northwest District, White River Field Office (WRFO) is releasing a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Plan for public review and comment. The gather is needed to help balance wild horse populations with other resources, restrict wild horses from areas where they were not “presently found” at the passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act and to manage wild horses within the area designated for long-term wild horse management.
The WRFO manages wild horses within the 190,130 acre Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (HMA), located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) in the HMA is 135-235 wild horses. The Proposed Action analyzes the impacts of gathering the current estimated population of 382 wild horses from inside and 78 wild horses from outside the HMA; to implement fertility control, sex ratio adjustments, and a selective removal of excess wild horses. If the Proposed Action is fully successful, the HMA will consist of approximately 135 wild horses; the lower range of the appropriate management level of 135 to 235 wild horses. The BLM would select the 135 wild horses to maintain a diverse age structure, herd character, body type (conformation) and implement a sex ratio adjustment of 60 percent studs to 40 percent mares. All mares, over two years of age, released back to the HMA would be treated with Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception (fertility) drugs. In addition, the BLM has fully analyzed three additional alternatives to the Proposed Action to address issues and concerns brought forward during the initial scoping process.
“The Bureau of Land Management is tasked with managing our rangelands for a variety of uses. Providing management for a healthy wild horse herd within the HMA so the thriving natural ecological balance is maintained for all plant and animal species on that range, in conjunction with all other resource uses, it is one of our most important responsibilities to the American public and public land users. The public’s participation in this analysis process is vital to the decision making process,” said Kent Walter, Field Manager for the White River Field Office.
The gather EA can be found on the BLM WRFO website at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/piceance_-_east_douglas.html, and selecting Preliminary Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-CO-110-2011-0058-EA. All comments must be submitted in writing and received by the WRFO by the close of business on August 8, 2011. Comments may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Wild Horse Removal Plan” in the subject line of the email. Comments can also be sent by regular mail to the Bureau of Land Management, White River Field Office: attention Melissa Kindall, 220 East Market Street, Meeker, CO. 81641. For additional questions or information please contact James Roberts at 970-878-3873 or Melissa Kindall at 970-878-3842.
Please send in your comments – thank you.
Click on the image for a larger/sharper view
Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.
The “Email Subscription” link automatically alerts you to new posts. Stay updated and subscribe today!
May 19, 2010
A message from Karen Sussman of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros:
SAVE AMERICA’S WILD HORSES
As many of you know, ISPMB has been a leader in the field of wild horse and burro protection since our inception in 1960. Along with our first president, Wild Horse Annie, we were instrumental in getting federal legislation passed in 1971 – otherwise there would be no wild horses left on public lands today.
Well just as important, ISPMB is conducting research on our four herds creating a model for wild horse management – something sorely needed since it has been 39 years that the Act passed without BLM knowing much about herd behaviors. Our findings show that we may now be facing losing the extraordinary wisdom that was so inherent in the wild horse herds. This wisdom kept a very powerful social order intact with healthy behavioral modeling passed on to future generations. The loss of this wise modeling has caused the herds to double their fertility rates.
How did this happen? It has happened over the past twenty years since BLM went from gate cuts to selective removal. When BLM took all the horses that they wanted with gate cuts regardless of age, they still left many band structures intact that were never rounded up. With selective removal, BLM captures the entire herd or as many as they can and they separate the stallions from their harems and remove the five and under horses for the adoption program releasing all horses over the age of five. As the older horses are released, many of the older stallions never reclaim their mares because of the younger aged stallions taking advantage of an opportunity to steal mares. Often stallions as young as six will take mares. If that six year old stallion had a mentor who was only six when he was born, the educational process deteriorates. You can see over a period of 20 years how the mentoring and education process has been threatened. Consequently, you see younger and younger mares getting pregnant by younger and younger stallions.
How do we know this! ISPMB has been studying herd behavior now for eleven years with our own herds. We were fortunate and did not even know in the beginning that we acquired two of the healthiest herds left in our country – the White Sands and Gila herds. Neither herd had been gathered in decades of time leaving their social structures intact. We have the same stallions in charge of their mares now for eleven years. It did not become apparent to us until we acquired our third herd (Catnip) that we were observing truly the most natural and healthy behaviors in wild horse herds. The Catnip herd displays all the behaviors of horses that have suffered constant removals as the US Fish and Wildlife Agency had planned the elimination of wild horses from Sheldon Wildlife Refuge where they originated.
We are at the pinnacle of our studies here in South Dakota. We will have Princeton University coming in June to collaborate with us on our behavioral studies. This is extremely exciting as ISPMB begins a new study – how to infuse healthy behavioral modeling in herds that have suffered from the ongoing devastation of their harem structures.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! NOW THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN HELP!
I didn’t think I would ever have to say this; but unless we get funding, ISPMB may have to disperse it herds. This would mean the end of our studies and the end of our ability to stop the helicopter roundups on public lands. Yes, with our studies, we believe we have enough evidence to show that helicopter round ups are destroying the very nature of our wild horses on public lands. ISPMB has one of the longest ongoing studies on wild horses that have remained intact without human intrusions. Our studies are creating the perfect model for management of wild horses on public lands. We have come off a very cold winter, snow continuing as of last week and now the cold rains. We are feeding three of our herds.
WHEN YOU THINK YOU CAN’T GIVE – EVEN A GIFT OF $5.00 WOULD HELP!
If everyone on this list gave just $5.00, we would have enough hay for a month! If you could pledge monthly, we would have enough funding to keep our project going forever! Statistics show that only 3% of people respond to requests! We hope this time that we will hear from everyone. The future of all wild horses depends upon your call to action.
IMAGINE WHAT WE CAN DO TO SAVE OUR HERDS ON PUBLIC LANDS BY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE GAIN HERE!
PLEASE CONSIDER A GIFT TODAY – THE FUTURE OF WILD HORSES IN OUR COUNTRY IS DEPENDING UPON YOUR GENEROSITY. KEEP THEM RUNNING FREE.
Any Donation is Appreciated!
The website address:
A Message from Michael Blake, Author of “Dances With Wolves“
By the late 1890′s America had slaughtered more than twenty million Buffalo. A few devoted citizens managed to save roughly five hundred. In doing so, those incredible animals were saved from leaving the earth.
Today, America’s Wild Horses, primary resources in making America a major country in this world, are being captured, killed and slaughtered by corrupt, money-hungry American agencies. Removing them from life on earth is moving faster than ever.
Karen Sussman, like the few who rescued Buffalo, has devoted herself and her organization (ISPMB) to saving Wild Horses from extinction. At present she is maintaining more than five-hundred magnificent creatures that were saved from death…but keeping them alive with food alone is an increasing struggle. Whether rich or poor, any individuals who can donate even a few dollars to help eliminate loss of these lives will be significant. Destruction of the atmosphere, oceans, land and even Wild Horses is moving humanity closer to its own removal.
Any donation, even from those of us currently jobless, will represent standing up not just for ourselves, but for the Creator who brought the marvelous and deeply connected life to this tiny planet.
(As many of you know, Karen Sussman is also the one that helped me facilitate the placement of El Mariachi and Hope into Michael Blake’s care. Please help her maintain her amazing herds and continue her important work if you can – thank you).
May 18, 2010
BLM PRESS RELEASE:
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Will Conduct Public Workshop and Meeting in June in Denver.
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a public workshop and hold a regular meeting in June at a two-day event in Denver. The workshop on Monday, June 14, will provide the public with a unique opportunity to express their views, comments, and suggestions regarding Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s wild horse initiative, which he and BLM Director Bob Abbey announced last October. The Board will hold a regular meeting on wild horse management issues on Tuesday, June 15.
The public workshop and the Board meeting will take place in Denver, Colorado, at the Magnolia Hotel, 818 17th Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202. The hours of the Monday workshop are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time; the Tuesday Board meeting is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time. The hotel’s phone number for reservations is 303-607-9000. The business agendas for the public workshop and Board meeting can be found on page 26990 of the Thursday, May 13 Federal Register (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-11351.pdf).
On Monday, June 14, the public will be able to provide feedback and input concerning Secretary Salazar’s initiative, the details of which can be accessed at the BLM’s Website (www.blm.gov); the specific Web address is http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/national/initiative.html.
On Tuesday, June 15, the public may address the Advisory Board at an appropriate point in the agenda, which is expected to be about 3 p.m., local time. Individuals who want to make a statement should register with the BLM by noon on the day of the meeting at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings. Speakers, who should address the specific wild horse and burro-related topics listed on the agenda, must submit a written statement of their comments, which may be sent electronically to the BLM by accessing the following Web address: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_contact_us/enhanced_feedback_form.html. Alternatively, comments may be mailed to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147. Written comments pertaining to the Advisory Board meeting should be submitted no later than close of business June 7, 2010.
For additional information about the meeting, please contact Ramona DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. DeLorme at any time by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. This law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. The BLM manages about 37,000 wild horses and burros that roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states; the agency also feeds and cares for more than 35,000 horses and burros that are maintained in short-term corrals and long-term Midwestern pastures.
The Advisory Board meets at least twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.
Please, if you can attend this meeting, do so. It’s important that we have as many people show up for this workshop as possible.
March 27, 2010
So many of us wished we could have attended this rally in DC. For those that couldn’t, here are some highlights from the event. My thanks to all of you that were there on behalf of our wild horses!
(Click on the individual links below)
Some of the best coverage of what is actually happening to our wild horses was in this segment by CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell. A must watch: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/03/25/jvm.horse.round.up.cnn
DC Rally (from The Cloud Foundation): http://thecloudfoundation.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/dc-rally/
Wild Horses Kick the BLM in the “Burro” in DC by Steven Long as it appeared on R.T. Fitch’s blog: http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/wild-horses-kick-the-blm-in-the-burro-in-dc/
Singer/songwriter Clay Canfield performs during the March for Mustangs rally in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, in Washington, Thursday, March 25, 2010. (The actual link to the photo: http://1click.indiatimes.com/photo/0fHD80FftNe1w?q=White%20House
Purchase/download the song, “Wild Horses” – part of the sale proceeds goes towards helping the wild horse preservation efforts: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/canfield3
Horses, People and a Meeting of Minds (by R.T. Fitch):
Wild Horse Documentary Wows Crowd in DC (by R.T. Fitch): http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/wild-horse-documentary-wows-crowd-in-dc/
March for Mustangs… the Call to Stop the Roundups Goes Global (from The Cloud Foundation): http://thecloudfoundation.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/march-for-mustangs-the-call-to-stop-the-roundups-goes-global/
Video from R.T. Fitch:
By John Holland (President of Equine Welfare Alliance – as posted on Horseback Magazine)
WASHINGTON, (EWA) – The demonstration was great, but you really got the feeling of being in a dictatorship! Much of this might be because of the recent anti-health care bill demonstrations and threats, but I have not felt this atmosphere since the 60s.
A guy came around us, climbed the stairs and stood at the top with the armed guards and used a zoom lens to take photos of all of us individually. Funny thing was that one of the guards thought he was with us and tried to throw him off the steps because we were not allowed to touch a single step. Another of the other guards stopped the first guard. It just shows what a stupid bunch we are dealing with. I just couldn’t help thinking about the Keystone Cops.
I especially loved it when they called out the mounted patrol on us. Many of us immediately migrated toward them. One of the horses was a huge gray that did not have a body shape we could identify. I asked his mount what breed it was and he ignored me. Only their leader would talk and he was an asshole. I was so tempted to say “I have been around horses all my life and never seen one before who had two assholes” but discretion got the better of me.
I told him that if they were looking to intimidate us, they picked the wrong crowd! I said I face three times that many horses every morning for their feed. He said “We are not here to intimidate you.” So I figured that meant hey must be have been there to do something more physical.
I used to marvel that I was able to roam the halls of Congress as freely as I was, but that is changing. It is darker and more brooding every time I go. Reuters and AP were both there, so we should see more!
From Janet Carabello (Colorado Advocate):
It was wonderful to be a part of this protest/rally! We mingled and made new friends while we exhibited our cause with signs and chants. The march to the DOI took us past the White House, the Old Exec. Office Bldg., and along 17th Street, so we captured the attention of many tourists and vehicles. The reception at the DOI was cold and stonewalling, but we really dialed up the vocal protesting and caused the security guards to be on high alert. We finally got the petition handed out to a staffer who came out to collect it. Then the mounted police showed up and of course we all loved the horses!!! I saw some smiles on the cops faces. My personal highlight was getting to talk to Hope Ryden and sharing the cab ride to the Capitol to meet with Sen. Bennett’s staff. I think our cause was heard, but we have to keep up the fight and do more followup. And more protests!!! We missed you Pam!
From Linda Hanick (Colorado Advocate):
Thanks for posting this Pam! It was an exhilarating time in DC. I do feel that we were a voice in DC–on the street, in the Senators’ and Representatives’ offices, in the rally and protest, in the hotel and restaurant, and even at Kinkos. I had my poster printed there and the young man who helped me was awestruck by your photo and couldn’t believe that there were still wild horses. We talked about the horses for quite a while, and when I was ready to pay, he just smiled and said “You have a great day!” That made my day! I was at the very end of the march from the White House to the BLM offices, and it was an impressive sight seeing scores of people for blocks in front of me marching down Pennsylvania Avenue–all with banners and signs. I stopped to pass out flyers to people on sidewalks and as made my way to the BLM building.
The photo below is courtesy of Simone Netherlands:
Video, “We Sing For The Horse Nation” by Sandy Elmore (Montana Advocate)
Stay current with Wild Horse News: http://nickolesphotography.com/HTML/wildhorseinformation.htm
March 7, 2010
I was perusing a Wild Horse Yahoo group digest last week, when I came across the heading to a post entitled “Awaken Your Spirit.” I recognized the name of the author – she had recently purchased my DVD set and we had e-mailed back and forth a few times – so I went down the page to view her post. I wasn’t expecting what I read, but found it inspiring and thought others might too. I asked Jennifer if she would like to share her article as a “Guest.” She agreed – so in her own words…
“Awaken Your Spirit” by Jennifer Gage
In my dreams thundering across the plains, race immense herds of mustangs, running like the wind-free in every sense of the word in all their glory. “In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.” –Helen Thompson.
We will never see this magic again and like the buffalo, the mustang too will be gone before we know what happened if we don’t act now. Please vote now on Change.org to save the mustangs: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/stop_cruel_blm_round_up_of_wild_horses
Every single day mustangs (wild horses) are being rounded up and put in holding pens like discarded waste. Families are torn apart, mothers and babies put in separate pens. Their fate is uncertain; to be slaughtered for Europe’s elite diners (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gAX5snG7-4 **Warning – Contains Graphic Material**) or to live in some holding pen the rest of their lives is not what most Americans believe they deserve. These horses have been grazing these lands for over 200 years, and in fact, horses are an integral part of American heritage and culture as even Congress declared in 1971 with the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
What the opposition and people like Sue Cattoor, Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar can’t see or feel is the true beauty these precious, magnificent creatures exude-their spirit is one with Mother Earth and all that She has to offer the mustang. Those that cannot see the treasure that is the mustang with all its beautiful colors, spirit, freedom, joy, fierce loyalty and love of family have grown dull toward this world in which we live; they have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific in any sense of the word. “Every once in a while something will come along and shock us right out of our dullness and resignation.” That’s what the mustangs and watching “The Stallion and the Foal” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JKKWF0ZUGk)
have done for me.
Thanks to photographers like Pam Nickoles, Carol Walker, and cinematographer Ginger Kathrens, I got to experience the mustang like I never have before. I didn’t even know they existed wild on the plains of 10 states. There used to be 2 million mustangs in 1900 throughout 16 states. They are now extinct in 6 states. If YOU do not act and do not let the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), President Obama, senators and congressmen know of the value these animals have, they too will go the way of the buffalo and the wolf. We cannot let that happen to them – to the horses that took us to battle when our nation was young and brought the pioneers to the west. I cannot let that happen.
“Just as we have lost our wonder at the world around us, we have forgotten what a treasure the human heart is. All of the happiness we have ever known and all of the happiness we hope to find is unreachable without a heart.”—John Eldredge.
My human heart is telling me the mustang is capable of bringing me this happiness-this borrowed freedom. To know this happiness yourself, go to YouTube and watch the videos about Cloud and his herd by Ginger or “Stampede to Oblivion”
(http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/news-update-the-stampede-to-oblivion-is-now-online/) or Calico, Nevada-Where the Wild Horses Roam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-0OK3i1YFI) or countless other wild horse videos found on YouTube.
The wild horses are protected by The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-195), which states that 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.
“Less than one percent of humans who live in America have ever seen wild horses running free. I have spoken with many of the few who have and each has said the view they made will never be forgotten. As remarkable as a distant sight of wild horses can be it remains the tip of a glorious iceberg. The actual lives of wild horses reveal to humanity the privilege having a life on the planet earth and how vital it is to respect the privilege.” Twelve the King, -Michael Blake
“Before I purchased El Mariachi, that beautiful horse belonged to each and every one of you. All of the BLM managed Mustangs belong to you. Many people don’t even realize this, but the wild horses belong to the PUBLIC. You. Their futures are in your hands as well. If you ever have an opportunity to view a wild horse in its natural surroundings, I guarantee that you’ll be changed forever, and maybe you’ll begin to understand why many people work so hard to preserve them. Hopefully, you’ll become involved in the wild horse protection efforts yourself. There are so few wild herds remaining, it’s imperative that people act NOW. The wild horses are magical, spiritual creatures and they absolutely deserve their place on our Earth.” -Pam Nickoles
• The half-million acre Calico Complex herd management area is the last stronghold of the American mustang and was designated by Congress principally for the wild horses and burros. Millions of head of livestock graze at a cost of $1.35/cow-calf pair/month.
• Overall welfare livestock constitute a net loss of $123 million annually to the American tax payer.
• The scapegoating of wild horses and burros for range deterioration must stop—they comprise only a tiny fraction of animals and wildlife grazing on our public lands.
• Cows graze within a mile of water. In comparison wild horses are highly mobile, moving 5-10 miles from water and grazing on more rugged terrain.
• BLM does not adequately control cattle on the public’s land and has not sustainably balanced use of the “forage”, water and space.
• A 1000-lb cow not only eats 26 lbs. of forage daily, but they consume as much as 30 gallons of water a day and defecate in it as well.
• Private and corporate livestock outnumber wild horses at least 100 to 1 on public lands.
Search your deep heart and investigate what I have just told you if this has motivated or awakened you to the dullness of your life. Pass this on and awaken your family, friends, coworker, children and grandchildren. Let’s not leave a legacy of dust to our children and grandchildren where the mustang once roamed like the buffalo…YOUR HELP IS DESPERATELY NEEDED TO SAVE THE WILD HORSES OF THE WEST! YOU ALONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LIVES!
I leave you with this piece of beauty…All the Little Ponies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXl8GwrBkxM
May you be blessed,
Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jennifer has been involved in the wild horse protection efforts for only about 3 months. She is obviously passionate about the cause and she has done some research to back up her beliefs. I hope that others will be inspired by her words, follow her lead and decide they too can make a difference in the lives of our wild horses. Thanks Jennifer. I’m honored to have been a small part of your journey of discovery into the beauty of, and the issues facing our wild ones.
Stay updated with current Wild Horse news: http://nickolesphotography.com/HTML/wildhorseinformation.htm
More Wild Horse video clips: http://www.nickolesphotography.com/HTML/videoclips.html
(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images.)