Dusty trail down dead end AML

Again… I feel the need to remind readership that this is a BLOG. A blog is defined as an “online diary.” It is not the same venue as an online newspaper.

Before you read the BLM explanation of an HMA in the Mojave Desert area unable to sustain more than 3 horses as an AML read this:

The plant would generate electricity using heat generated by the sun’s rays. BrightSource plans to erect thousands of “heliostats” on three solar fields. Each heliostat will have two mirrors that track the sun, and reflect it onto a boiler filled with water atop a tower. The boiler will produce steam for a turbine. The company says the mirrors will capture a greater percentage of solar energy than other solar thermal technologies.


or this:




BLM Nevada News


Tonopah Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment

Tonopah, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District’s Tonopah Field Office is proposing to remove about 182 excess wild horses and burros from within and outside of the boundaries of the Paymaster and Montezuma Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to establish the appropriate management level (AML) in the HMA to 27 wild horses and 10 burros.

The Montezuma Peak HMA is located west of the town of Goldfield and 26 miles south of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The Paymaster HMA is located less than five miles north of the Montezuma Peak HMA and 7 miles west of Tonopah.

The proposal and associated impacts are described and analyzed in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA).

The BLM would appreciate receiving substantive comments on the EA by July 15, 2010.

Comments received during the public review period will be analyzed and considered as part of the decision-making process.

The EA may be viewed at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field.html.

Submit written comments to Thomas J. Seley, Tonopah Field Manager, Tonopah Field Office, P.O. Box 911 (1553 S. Main St.), Tonopah, NV 89049.

Comments also may be via e-mail to montezuma_gather@blm.gov. In order to be considered, all comments must be received by mail or e-mail at the above addresses.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available.

The gather is needed to achieve the AML in the Paymaster and Montezuma HMAs and achieve a thriving natural ecological balance for the remaining wild horse and burro population, wildlife, livestock and vegetation. The BLM issued Final Multiple Use Decisions (FMUDs) between 2001 and 2007 for the allotments within the HMAs, which established an AML of 38 wild horses for the Paymaster HMA and 3 horses and 10 burros for the Montezuma Peak HMA.

These HMAs are very arid, located at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert and do not provide suitable habitat for large numbers of wild horses and burros. The areas have a history of poor animal health and emergency gathers due to lack of adequate forage and water, particularly during drought years.

It is estimated that approximately 45 wild horses would be gathered and removed from outside of the Paymaster HMA and inside if needed to leave a post gather population of 23 wild horses.

Approximately 61 wild burros and 78 wild horses would be gathered and removed from within and outside of the Montezuma Peak HMA to leave a post gather population of  3 wild horses and 10 wild burros.


So I am expected to believe that 3 horses (or 23 horses) represents a population protected? I am expected to believe that the Mojave desert can support heliostat projects but can’t have more than 26 horses?

So do you want to tell me exactly how you derive AML? Exactly what management means on MY land? Do you want to tell me whose pocket the money goes into? Do you want to attempt to actually TRY to manage in a way that allows enough resource for all uses? Or do you just want to keep lying to me and then saying it is for my own good?

YES… there may not be enough water for much in that desert… but I guess a 1.4 billion dollar boost can explain a lot.

Not very far from there stimulus funds were going to be used to create an organized crime museum….

“Stimulus” money… I guess today is not the day to get me started on that one.

Any of you watch the program “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”

And if you haven’t read Debbie Coffey’s article yet… PLEASE READ IT.

Water is more precious than gold.

I have a lot to do and will write more soon……. I like this song.

The beat goes on

Been on the road and have a minute to try to catch up. I have received a ton of email in the last week. Some of it I have responded to, some not. It’s hard to dig through. If you have sent something urgent that I did not respond to, please send it again… and accept my apology.

So much is happening right now.

People keep asking me “what can I do?”

We had the meeting in Denver. It was honestly filled with promising dialogue. But it is just dialogue at this point. The report wont go to Congress until the fall. Who knows if anything will come after that.

But for now we hear the same beat of the same old song.


More meetings where we will be told not heard.

A very suspicious gather of horses deemed “estray” by the BLM to be turned over to the NV Dept. of Ag. They go to slaughter… legally under current law. But the timing and the area make you go hmmm… for many reasons.

Rental rates for Solar energy developers are announced. But there is no cost comparison for you to see… for that to be known you need to dig.

Horses continue to die from the Calico roundup. Observers denied an ability to witness the gelding of older horses… told “you have seen all there is to see.”

Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district doing quite the sidestep after talking about cooperative monitoring.

And the beat of helicopters … http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/wh_b_information_center/monthly_statistics.html

Change in this issue will only come when we have a full cost recovery system on public land. When lease holders actually get off the welfare line. But that action will only come through Congress. On all public land, not just places where horses are being forced off through manipulations of the multiple use mandate, lease holders are being allowed to reap private profit off of the taxpayer. Each lease requires an environmental impact statement that BLM field offices can’t perform in the manner truly needed to determine what those leases will do to our land. Ongoing effects to our wild resources can not be monitored as they should because the “powers that be” (in each field office) are not accountable to anyone but themselves. Conflicts of interest within our BLM/DOI are overwhelming and if they existed in the private sector would find themselves wrapped up in our judicial system in a manner that does not require the public to privately attempt to bring suit.

Write your Congressional representatives.

Write your newspapers.

Write your President.

The issues we are dealing with attempting to gain protections for our wild herds are identical to issues faced with any group looking for reform. In many respects our country is not regulated by our government… our government is regulated by special interests. The “checks and balances” have been removed through the lobby efforts of “industrializing” public land (not just on public land, everywhere)… on the back of a rapidly decreasing middle America.

But the symbol of the spirit of “freedom” is paying a great price.

I do not understand why in this time when America herself stands at this cross road we do not find it inside of ourselves to hold the symbol of the American Mustang high? We need all the reminders we can find of what it once meant to be resilient, brave, free…

not this…

Just pray…

In the field… car trouble…. heavy heart.

We are days away from round ups… no movement on proposals to save tax dollars and help horses… no cooperative effort for data… no indications of any change.

Our DOI was found to manipulate scientific info to support it’s “too little too late” in the gulf.

IF lease holders don’t pay enough in fees to monitor what they are doing and create a system that has any accountability… why stand up now to call for a moratorium in the gulf unless they need to save face yet in a manner that represents a DOI power grab.


Pray for the wild ones…

Back on the road.

Sheldon June 2010

So much for talking…

While we were in Denver listening to BLM’s hired gun Michael Harty act as if his meeting actually meant something … the stallions at Fallon have been castrated. I wonder how many of those smiling faces at that  meeting knew what was happening?


Gelding of the five years and older stallions took place this week.  During gelding, one stallion was noted with two cryptorchid testicles and was euthanized, one stallion suffered a spinal injury while in the chute and died on his own and one gelding was found dead in the pen.

The letters I have written (we all have written) go unanswered. Instead Gene Seidlitz of the Winnemucca district replied to Craig Downers letter and cc’d us all.

That is not a reply to MY letter.

He addressed Craig’s fly over… never my questions directly… NOT EVEN CLOSE.

He never responded to my last letter. He has never sent me the schedule for data collection that he invited me to participate in… that started today. He is side stepping and squirming instead of simply answering. Does someone behave that way when they have legs to stand on? Or when they are acting like someone with something to be ashamed of?

A proposal sits unanswered that would have taken in all of these horses at a savings to the tax=payer that would not have required gelding!!!!!!

Does our president care that his BLM… yes Obama’s BLM… behaves in such a manner? A manner that only deserves the label “sociopathic.”

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

Before I left for Denver I said to watch them… best face, big hit.

Watch them now while they close air space and deny me access to observe data collection…. what are they really doing?

I am in the desert and rather beside myself at the moment…. we will NEVER even be permitted to see these older stallions that the BLM has castrated… who died? Does the BLM even care?

I will write more later… I need to walk or something.

How can anyone go to work in the morning for the BLM and look their children in the eye at night?

SaveWildHorses posted this in comments. I think this is a great idea…. start cc ing the White House, Senators on your emails to the BLM.

Yes! And on every correspondence with any BLM official please make sure they see your cc: to the following

Your Senators
Barbara Boxer
all the chain of command in the WH&B and BLM (Don Glenn, Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar)
and the President

Soon, I think we may need to start contacting the Justice Department

BLM 101

This post is simply to address the number of emails I am receiving in reference to the scheduled flight over the new “megaplex.”

AML: (reference BLM website)

Q – How does BLM determine the appropriate management level of wild horses and burros (WH&B)?
A – BLM determines the appropriate management level of WH&B based on an ongoing program of monitoring over several years involving studies of grazing utilization, trend in range condition, actual use, precipitation (climate) and other factors. In Nevada, appropriate management levels of WH&B are generally determined through the multiple-use decision process. This process begins with an evaluation of range conditions; the evaluation assesses whether or not management and stocking levels for livestock, wild horses and/or burros, and wildlife are achieving rangeland objectives. If rangeland health objectives are not being met, changes in management or stocking levels are proposed. Proposed changes are analyzed in an environmental assessment and a proposed multiple-use decision (PMUD) is issued. Proposed decisions are subject to review and protect by parties affected by the proposal. BLM considers all protests filed and then issues a final multiple-use decision (FMUD). BLM’s final decisions are subject to administrative review (appeal).

OK.. so Algebra class begins here… sorry.

How many variables are noted above?

They list 4 and then say “others.” Without listing each one lets say 8 total. (for the sake of brevity and illustration).

Illustrative breakdown (not actual equation) looks something like this: a- (b +c+d-e-f-g)  (+ or – ) h = i (AML)

If  “e ” represents number of horses counted, the proposed fly over represents one variable.

In order to find the value “i” we need the rest.

If lease holders are known, that takes the place of another variable…. etc. down the line.

All variables filled in you have a valid equation.

Here’s the problem:

A valid equation does not represent truth.

Any student of mathematics can tell you that math is simply language. Any student that has had courses in basic principles of logic (actually a math class) and statistics can tell you that neither of these disciplines is about “truth.”

If you are interested here is a “Logic 101” website

When BLM tells you they are mandated under “multiple use” it is a “truth.” When they apply it to the above equation they have all kinds of ways to manipulate that “truth.”

Each one of the variables of this equation are open to debate as the numbers used are based on protocol already deemed faulty within BLM’s own documents.

Even if (and I most certainly mean IF) the fly over gives an accurate count of horses… that does NOT establish an AML. The number will be used to support an assumption that it is relevant to something already shown to be inaccurate.

Why would the BLM continue to perpetuate an assumption of AML?

We already know that answer and it lies within the multiple use mandate.

I know Conrad Burns pissed us all off with “sale authority” in 2004. But one of the blows to the “death” of  Intent of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro act came in 1976.


(c) The term “multiple use” means the manage­

ment of the public lands and their various resource

values so that they are utilized in the combination

that will best meet the present and future needs of

the American people; making the most judicious

use of the land for some or all of these resources

or related services over areas large enough to pro-

vide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in

use to conform to changing needs and conditions;

the use of some land for less than all of the

resources; a combination of balanced and diverse

resource uses that takes into account the long-term

needs of future generations for renewable and non-

renewable resources, including, but not limited to,

recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed,

wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and

historical values; and harmonious and coordinated

management of the various resources without per­

manent impairment of the productivity of the land

and the quality of the environment with considera­

tion being given to the relative values of the

resources and not necessarily to the combination

of uses that will give the greatest economic return

or the greatest unit output.

Sounds good?

Sec. 202. [43 U.S.C. 1712] (a) The Secretary shall, with

public involvement and consistent with the terms

and conditions of this Act, develop, maintain, and,

when appropriate, revise land use plans which pro-

vide by tracts or areas for the use of the public

lands. Land use plans shall be developed for the

public lands regardless of whether such lands pre­

viously have been classified, withdrawn, set aside,

or otherwise designated for one or more uses.

Ahhhh…. the slimy door opens….

This is where special interests justify their exploitation of this intent.

(and the suspicion that legislators and their aides never read passed a first page)

But this second piece does NOT trump the first.

“Multiple use” is by design intended to benefit the interests of the American public.

It is a concept that has been twisted to trump anything that does not represent private profit.

Ecological, historical, etc. fall by the wayside when BLM answers you “we must manage by multiple use.” Even though it again does not represent an entire “truth.”

Read that whole document to understand the complexity.

So that brings us back to AML

AML is said to represent the numbers of animals the land can sustain. But if your land is being parceled off to livestock, energy, whatever, that is run by a private interest that gains private profit…  that someone besides you (like your president) determines is in your best interest…. AML is a number based not on how many horses the land can sustain, but how many leases are held in that area.

So who determines what I as an American feel has value?

In 1971 my Congress passed an act overwhelmingly demonstrating the importance of Wild equine herds… didn’t it?

Shouldn’t the value to the public be determined by responsible stewardship?

If a lease fee is less than the cost to evaluate the impact of the lease, then isn’t that a burden to the public not a benefit?

If the mission statement of a new complex is to manage horses integrated into “wild across the landscape,” than shouldn’t AML be determined to reflect that? And NOT to reflect a natural gas pipeline and increase in livestock permits? And NOT based on data the BLm admits is faulted in their own documents.

Congress needs to hear from us… again.


Need to get back in the pick up.

Herd Watch is on the road. We are becoming operational as we are being born. Thank you all for your support and confidence. Many volunteers have stepped up and those of you not currently on Teams will be contacted very soon. Continue to spread the word… we exist solely by the generosity of the public.

Love you all… and yes, I am being very careful.

Purge Valve

I need to hit the purge valve tonight.

Most of you that follow my blog know that I have recently been to HMA’s and HA’s in 6 states. I have seen horses in other jurisdictions beyond the BLM. I have seen horses held behind bars awaiting whatever decisions man makes toward their further confinement or freedom.

I traveled to Denver to participate in the “workshop” that presents as if it wants to address reform.

Yet my life is wrapped in ever increasing demands to deal with protocols that run full force down the old paths that perpetuate crisis after crisis. In practice their new direction is just “pedal to the floor.”

I am not saying that the workshop did not address a possibility toward change. “Possibility” of change exists… willingness to make it reality is another thing.

What I witnessed was extreme pressure from special interests. There was an undertone to the “positive vibes” of aggressive pressure from those that reap a private profit off public land. BLM’s own documents state that lease holders do not even pay enough to cover the costs of  initial assessments prior to leases being issued. Yet statements come from these interests that claim they bring revenue into the community. Is it redundant to state the obvious? After operating a private subsidized business on the back of the American tax payer because they can pay their mortgage it benefits me?

How many Americans are struggling to find jobs, health care and pay their own mortgage? I’m sure each one of them would love a business subsidized by tax dollars so they could become a protected special interest deemed “contributing.”

In creating the “industrialization” of public land the pieces of our America left truly wild decrease rapidly. Those pieces become scraps that anyone interested in protecting wild places has to fight for. A microcosm  battle wages for resource for sage grouse, trout, any wildlife that exists. The concept that wild horse advocates are referring to a balanced equid containing ecosystem on 10% of BLM controlled land and that the premise of the core issues could benefit all public land goes unnoticed. Think the gulf here folks.

Now we head into the summer gather schedule.

Wild Utah baby taken just weeks ago

In less than two weeks we begin the Owyhee and Rock Creek. More than 1100 animals on that schedule for July. In Utah we zero out Winter Ridge and Hill Creek in July. Think about this… July, desert, helicopter, babies. We have seen this curve on the same old road so many times. Do we really need to see those images again?

Mare and foal Broken Arrow

In July the adoptions of the Calico horses and dispersal of “inventory” will occur from Broken Arrow to make room for the incoming… before the surveys are completed to even confirm the state of the range gathered last winter.

I am making a plea here… give us something tangible now.

Hold off on dispersal and do the range data in Calico before shipping off these horses into the black hole of tax payer fiscal responsibility. Hold off on the gathers and redistribute funds into creating the database to support a real structure designed at preserving the public land that belongs to the people.

Remember that private interest is not a benefit to the public if it creates a burden that destroys investment. (think gulf here)

Work toward saving more money by approving these “sanctuary” proposals and put that money into fixing the foundation.

Actions of Salazar's BLM

Will there be a "New Direction?"

One year… one year… just give us one year without the sound of helicopter blades chasing our horses to make room to exploit our land. One year where the concept of determining what we have and how best to preserve it for the public while allowing only responsible private undertakings on public land is given a chance.

New directions need to happen now. Why not try this one?