Jackson Mountain Decision, the same old BLM?
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District has issued a Final Record of Decision on the Jackson Mountain wild horse Herd Management Area (HMA). http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/nv/field_offices/winnemucca_field_office/nepa/wild_horse_and_burros/0.Par.53090.File.dat/Jackson Mtns DR 060712.pdf
After days of conferencing with Gene Seidlitz, District manager, certain objectives were sought by Laura Leigh, Wild Horse Education, as well as by other advocates nation wide through calls and letters to the office.
The objectives that were sought:
- Bait and Water trapping be utilized as a first line of any removal operation.
- Formal restrictions to an over grazed range, not voluntary, by permitees. (Including the cattle still occupying the HMA to the North of the most severely effected area that are still on the range)
- Roundup parameters be extended to reflect an emergency situation and that obtaining “AML” not be a first line but simply a removal geared at reducing immediate stress to the environment.
- Formal parameters written into the Record on humane handling protocol specific to the nature of the drought and foaling season. (Handling and monitoring specifics were included in the conversation)
- Birth Control (PZP) use would not be effective this time of year and should not be utilized. Gelding or other permanent sterilization was not appropriate.
On June 7, 2012 a final Decision was released.
Instead of publishing the Record of Decision first the agency opted to publish a “Q & A” that does not appear to reflect any of the points of discussion except in peripheral fashion.
Bait and water trapping has been refused.
There is no note of Livestock restrictions throughout the HMA.
The roundup objective is “within AML.”
The notes on humane handling appear to be the identical claims made in the past when horrific conduct was documented.
However PZP and Gelding will not be utilized.
As the record of decision has now been published it appears that the conversations engaged in were either not understood clearly by BLM or that the operation continuing without any change is an immovable priority.
They will restrict the livestock voluntarily removed from the South but the permitee that still has cattle directly to the North will not be restricted. As the claim is that animals are moving off HMA to find resource why is it so hard to comprehend that the resource within the HMA must be preserved? If there is an effected wild horse population in the South why is it so hard to understand that they must move the cattle to the North off the HMA in order to encourage movement by the horses into the North?
They did put a “handling protocol” into the decision record. At least that gives an intention that the importance of a protocol is necessary. However the points listed will encompass the justification for unacceptable handling we have seen in the past. Not one of the specifics requested appears in the document in the language requested. A three mile distance was discussed (even though one half a mile will be enough to cause irreversible damage to foals) and the Decision record goes to seven.
“At the moment it is all I can do to contain my disappointment and get my gas tank filled,” said Laura Leigh, founder of Wild Horse Education, “There are two open cases, one to conduct. If these postings by BLM are any reflection of the efficiency and care to be taken during a “foaling season” roundup I will be very busy gearing up for Court.”
Please support our efforts in the field. The cases are open in Federal Court and the documentation must be made daily.
An active case to Humane Care is solely supported at this time by donations to Wild Horse Education.
THIS is what occurred under the “discretion” of the EXACT same people doing this operation. The so called “humane parameters” listed in the Decision Record would allow identical conduct.
WILL this agency EVER have a soul. conscience or backbone enough to create a REAL standard and ENFORCE it?