Senator asks… will he answer?

Below is an article from Horseback Online. More Breaking News from Horseback.

My post will appear beneath it.

This letter from Senator Boxer is important.

California Senator Asks Salazar Tough Questions – Expects Answers

By Steven Long

WASHINGTON, DC, (Horseback) – California’s Sen. Barbara Boxer released a letter demanding answers from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar regarding the embattled Bureau of Land Management. It’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is under fire after the deaths of scores of horses in a mid-winter “gather” in Nevada’s Calico Mountains.

The horses were stampeded into holding pens after a grueling chase by a roaring helicopter over rocky ground in freezing weather. Two foals died after losing their hooves in an excruciating lingering death.

Dear Secretary Salazar:

I am writing to thank you for your recent attention to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Wild Horse and Burro Program and to seek information that would help me evaluate your proposed refoms to this program.

Wild horses and burros are majestic symbols of the American west and are beloved by many people for their remarkable intelligence, grace, beauty, and power. Unfortunately, these charismatic animals have also been at the center of great controversy for many decades.

Commercial harvesting once threatened wild horses and burros until public outrage led to their protection under the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. After working to recover these species for many years, the BLM has recently begun trying to reduce populations once more due to concerns that the animals are now overpopulated. The BLM contends that unchecked population growth has led to decimation of forage, starvation, competition with native animals, and land use conflicts. However, many animal rights advocates contend that the animals are healthy when left alone in the wild and that the BLM’s efforts to control populations are jeopardizing the survival of these iconic species.

To better understand your recent proposal for reforming the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and evaluate these different arguments, I would appreciate it if you could answer the following questions:

What techniques are used to estimate wild horse and burro populations, assess the genetic viability of herds, and determine appropriate management levels? Has there been any independent verification of the BLM’s techniques or data to ensure that they are based in sound science?

What are the disadvantages of allowing wild horses and burros to remain unchecked in the wild? Has there been any independent documentation of the BLM’s claims about the health of these animals, their impact on environmental conditions, and the need to remove them?

How does BLM ensure the humane treatment of wild horses and burros during roundups and retention in holding facilities? Has there been any independent confirmation of the humaneness of the BLM’s treatment of these animals? Are there any alternative methods for rounding up the horses that might be less disruptive to these animals and possibly make them more suitable for adoption?

Do you have any specific sites in mind for the National Wild Horse Preserves that would be established under your new proposal? How many acres would be needed for these preserves? How many preserves would be federal and how many private?

How much would it cost to establish and manage these National Wild Horse Preserves? Can you provide me with a cost-benefit analysis comparing this proposal with the status quo and with leaving the horses where they are currently found?

This is a complex and emotional issue with important long-term ramifications for the future of our wild horse and burros. I appreciate your attention to this matter and your look forward to your timely response.


Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

Art and Horses……

Another question she needs to add:

Why when asked by advocates for an overlay map of grazing leases and permits over herd management areas are we directed to a geocities website where we would have to build our own map lease by lease? How can the BLM possibly manage the area in any way, shape, or form without such a map?

I approached the BLM with a conceptual proposal. I was asked “where would we put it.” I said “give me a map and I’ll show you.” I was sent to geocities. I turned it over to John Holland to look at. Creating the map would be a full-time job for months! It would most likely require trips to each BLM field office. It’s absurd that a simple map of where leases overlap the shrinking HMA’s contained in the 262 million acres of BLM managed land does not exist as public record.

I hope she gets the answers soon.

I can’t wait.

This has to stop.

Just a note:

I’ve just finished General’s Saga Part 2 and will post by tomorrow night.

Editing the video and “just life” have me a bit tired tonight. Elyse called me to let me know she was posting on her blog that “Lightning,” the magnificent palomino stallion in the Equine Welfare Alliance slideshow I made, is at Fallon. She will send me a link when she gets the full story up and I will add it here.


White House Hotline: 202-456-1111