Ok, had my second cup and cleared some work from my desk. Now for some more “chatter.”
Carol Abel wrote in a piece in the Examiner about a possible “Mega Complex.”
* Need to add a note that this is a dialogue ONLY about horses in that area, not a “solution discussion” about the wild horses in every area. (again rumor gets rough.)
She writes: Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) California, Oregon and Nevada District Offices along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife are in the conceptual stages of creating a two million acre management complex for wild horses in Southeast Oregon, Northeast California, Northwest Nevada and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge also in Northeast Nevada. The concept involves a management shift from individual Herd Management Areas ( HMA’s) and smaller HMA complexes to an aggregate of HMA’s called the Tri-State Complex.
She adds: BLM’s Winnemucca District Office manager, Gene Seidlitz says, ” We’re just in the initial discussion stages of developing that sort of strategy of treating all of those areas as one big complex based on what we’ve been finding recently which is a significant amount of movement between HMA’s and outside HMA’s into other areas.”
OK… if you can get beyond the “duh factor” about “significant movement” and begin to dissect this concept it is either a good sign or a really bad one.
Let’s do “bad” first so I can end on a “good” note.
“Complex” in BLM speak has often meant combining HMA’s (Herd Management Area, that is a reduced # of acreage from the Herd Area designation in 1971) to reduce the AML (Appropriate Management Level, number of horses BLM claims the land can sustain).
Example of typical BLM math. If I have 5 jars and each jar contains 5 marbles and I put them in a container equal in mass to the five jars my new jar can hold 15 marbles! Aren’t you happy we had the foresight to do this for you!
We need to watch this part of the equation closely.
This will also need watching.
They may very well decide that “showcase” populations are all that is needed in the area. Just look at the “Salazoo” plan and the reiteration in articles mentioning eight showcase herds. Could someone please remind him how many HMA’s still have horses left? He hasn’t zeroed them down to eight… yet.
However on a positive note the horses at Sheldon NWR have historically been the “poster child” for disastrous gathers and horrific stories about horses once they leave the range. Even with all the BLM “issues,” for these horses (Sheldon) to be processed in an agreement with BLM it would be an improvement. Sheldon NWR has no infrastructure to process horses as they come off that range.
I spoke with Gene Seidlitz about this “Mega Complex” yesterday. He was emphatic that this was a “discussion” and that nothing solid has been decided.
Gene and I have talked in the past about creating a dialogue for change. Now would be the time to actually have that discussion… not an Advisory Board meeting or public comment period… but to invite the advocates to the table and take a look at the tools in a different toolbox.
Gene seemed intrigued… we will see.