Wild Horse Freedom Federation http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org Putting People between Wild Equines & Extinction Sat, 24 Jun 2017 17:27:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Journalists are in love with cowboys, and so wild horses will die. http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/journalists-love-cowboys-wild-horses-will-die/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/journalists-love-cowboys-wild-horses-will-die/#comments Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:55:14 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=683 Source:  Vickeryeckhoff.com Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior by Vickery Eckhoff I’ve made a subspecialty out of writing to journalists about wild horses and, more importantly, cattle. Below is a letter I wrote to Matthew Shaer of Smithsonian, whose May 2017 article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,”  is typical ...

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Source:  Vickeryeckhoff.com

Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

by Vickery Eckhoff

I’ve made a subspecialty out of writing to journalists about wild horses and, more importantly, cattle.

Below is a letter I wrote to Matthew Shaer of Smithsonian, whose May 2017 article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,”  is typical of how journalists cover wild horses. It is also typical of what senators can expect to hear today, June 21, when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the Trump budget plan, which will lift Congress’ ban on removing protections for wild horses and burros and selling them for slaughter.

This is not journalism that speaks truth to power. My solution is to speak truth to journalism. Here’s my letter, dated May 5, 2017:

Dear Mr. Shaer,

I read your Smithsonian article, “How the Mustang, the Symbol of the Frontier, Became a Nuisance,” with interest. I have been writing about wild horse politics and roundups, as well as the livestock and slaughter industry and the related topic of subsidized public lands ranching since 2011 (for Forbes, AlterNet, Salon, Newsweek, HuffPo and my own web site, The Daily Pitchfork).

And I have to disagree completely with your article’s (and your sources’) claim of too many wild horses “eating ranchers out of house and home” and causing long-term damage to rangeland…

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

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Urgent: Call and Write Today to Save Thousands of Wild Horses and Burros from Death http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/urgent-call-write-today-save-thousands-wild-horses-burros-death/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/urgent-call-write-today-save-thousands-wild-horses-burros-death/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 23:12:24 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=674 Urgent Call to Action to Save America’s Wild Horses and Burros by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation If Congress approves the Bureau of Land Management’s 2018 Budget Request, the 46,000 Wild Horses and Burros in holding facilities and the 46,000 Wild Horses and Burros that the BLM mistakenly calls “excess” ...

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Urgent Call to Action to Save America’s Wild Horses and Burros

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

If Congress approves the Bureau of Land Management’s 2018 Budget Request, the 46,000 Wild Horses and Burros in holding facilities and the 46,000 Wild Horses and Burros that the BLM mistakenly calls “excess” and are still living on the range are all in jeopardy of being killed or sent to slaughter.

This massive destruction of wild horses and burros cannot be allowed to happen.

The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act was enacted to protect these living symbols of the west, allowing them to remain free where they were found at the time the Act was passed.

Special interest groups such as the livestock industry and energy industry have a powerful voice lobbying for control of our public lands, pushing the wild horses out. It is up to us, the American public, to fight for their very lives, and for their freedom.

We can stop this, but we need to call our elected officials, our Senators and Representatives in Washington D.C. Tell them that you oppose the mass killing of our wild horses and burros and that you want Congress to maintain the ban on slaughtering them.

Currently the Budget Request is in the House Appropriations Committee.

Here is the link to the form to contact members of the Committee – please write your comments and send this: https://appropriations.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm

PLEASE also send your letters directly to these members of the appropriations committee: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/subcommittees/interior-environment-and-related-agencies

Then please call your Senators and Representatives. These contact forms will give your their phone numbers, addresses and emails.

A phone call is the most powerful and effective way to contact them.

Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

The new Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke testified before Congress about our wild horses and burros, and his deadly misinformation is fueling this action by Congress. Here is a link:

And here is a great explanation of what is so terribly wrong in this fictional account:

https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/interior-secretary-zinke-demonstrates-congressional-testimony-he-fundamentally-misinformed

Here is a wonderful letter about the call to action:

Call to Action: Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice NOW

Letter from Wayne Pacell, President of Humane Society of the United States:

BLM Plotting War on America’s Wild Horses and Burros

The time when all our voices are needed to stop the annihilation of our wild horses and burros is now. Please act today, and pass this information along to everyone you know who cares about our wild horses and burros.

Everyone makes a difference.

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Historical BLM Wild Horse & Burro FOIA data (1980-1999) http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/historical-blm-wild-horse-burro-foia-data-1980-1999/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/historical-blm-wild-horse-burro-foia-data-1980-1999/#respond Fri, 02 Jun 2017 02:42:51 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=662 Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data from the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Information System (WHBIS) on 131,559 wild horses and burros that were captured from Jan 1, 1980 – Dec. 31, 1999. This BLM FOIA data reveals that 2,096 of these wild horses & burros ...

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Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data from the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Information System (WHBIS) on 131,559 wild horses and burros that were captured from Jan 1, 1980 – Dec. 31, 1999.

This BLM FOIA data reveals that 2,096 of these wild horses & burros ended up in slaughterhouses including Beltex, Dallas Crown and Cavel International.

You can review this data below:

Destroyed Commercially

An old HSUS video from Dallas Crown from 2007:

We also suggest our readers look at the late Mary Nash’s website, Kaufman Zoning, to learn more about horse slaughter.  Mary dedicated her life to this issue, and her site lives on through the generosity of friends of the slaughtered horses and burros.

 

 

 

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Texas equine advocate speaks out against “donkey basketball” http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/texas-equine-advocate-speaks-donkey-basketball/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/texas-equine-advocate-speaks-donkey-basketball/#comments Sun, 23 Apr 2017 05:41:23 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=655 from Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League. “This is a tough position to take, because I support what the intention is of this fundraiser. What I don’t support is condoning abusing animals and laughing ...

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from Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League.

“This is a tough position to take, because I support what the intention is of this fundraiser. What I don’t support is condoning abusing animals and laughing about it. They’re teaching children and sending a very wrong message in my opinion,” said Marjorie Farabee.

Farabee is Equine Manager at a donkey rescue called TMR Rescue. She says the sport is too loud and puts too much weight on the animals.

Others agreed, flooding organizers’ voicemails and the event’s Facebook page.

All major donkey organizations agree that donkeys carrying more than 20% of their own body weight on their backs will cause them physical harm over time. Dairyland Donkey Ball is not representing their facts correctly. Donkeys are sensitive emotionally and stoic to physical pain. This is a defense response. When donkeys will not move, it is because they are stressed, do not feel safe or have sullied from fear. This sport is not a sport, it is exploitation of an animal that cannot fight back. In other words, the kids observing this with adults laughing and approving are getting the message that it is okay to bully.

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BLM claims wild horses sold to kill buyer Tom Davis were sold to “good homes” http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/blm-claims-wild-horses-sold-kill-buyer-tom-davis-sold-good-homes/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:33:55 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=628 by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017 On the Bureau of Land Management’s new website, on the Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program (under the Wild Horse and Burro Sales to Private Care tab), the BLM claims “It has ...

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by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017

On the Bureau of Land Management’s new website, on the Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program (under the Wild Horse and Burro Sales to Private Care tab), the BLM claims “It has been and remains the policy of the BLM, despite the unrestricted sales authority of the Burns Amendment, NOT to sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses or to “kill buyers.”

The BLM claims “Wild Horses and Burros Sold to Good Homes” but then includes a total of 402 wild horses and burros sold in Fiscal Year 2012.  (In this 402 total, 320 were horses and 82 were burros.)

BLM sale logs obtained by us in Freedom of Information Act requests indicate that in Fiscal Year 2012, the BLM sold 239 wild horses (almost 80% of the 320 horses that were sold) to kill buyer Tom Davis of La Jara, CO.  Many, if not all, of these wild horses went to slaughter in Mexico.

Does this look like a “good home” to you?

BLM states it has a policy not to sell wild horses and burros to kill buyers, but:

  1. On 1/11/12, Lester T. Duke (BLM Burns, Oregon) sent an email to BLM’s Bea Wade, regarding 50 sale authority horses, noting that a “large portion”of the mares were “possibly pregnant.”  Lester asked if they should ship to long term holding or hold them at the corrals for sale.  Bea responded that she forwarded the email to Sally Spencer.  After a couple of more emails regarding this, Sally finally sent email on 2/23/12 that Tom Davis would purchase the horses, starting with the load of mares from Burns, Oregon.  (About a week later, the. BLM sold Tom Davis 32 horses from the Burns, OR corrals.  19 of these horses were mares)
  2. On 4/19/12, Deanna Masterson, Public Affairs specialist for the BLM Colorado state office, sent an “Early Alert” email to “WO BLM/DOI Officials” (Jeff Krause, Leigh Espy, Helen Hankins, Steven Hall, Tom Gorey and Sally Spencer) that “The Colorado Department of Agriculture notified the BLM Colorado State Office of a Colorado Open Records request from David Phillips, a freelance journalist, for brand inspection and transfer paperwork for horses the BLM sold to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado.  Phillips indicated he suspected Davis of selling these horses for slaughter to Mexico.”
  3. On 4/24/12, the BLM, alerted that Tom Davis was suspected of selling horses for slaughter, still sells 106 wild horses to Tom Davis.
  4. On 5/17/12, Sally Spencer sent out an email, marked “High” importance, to 21 people (Joe Stratton, Roger Oyler, Amy Dumas, Fran Ackley, Karen Malloy, Christopher Robbins, Jared Bybee, Robert Mitchell, Alan Shepherd, Rob Sharp, Robert Hopper, Gus Warr, June Wendlandt, Joan Guilfoyle, Mary D’Aversa, Dean Bolstadt, Jeff Krause, Tom Gorey, Debbie Collins, Lili Thomas, Bea Wade) and BLM_WO_260  WHB Communications, telling them a reporter was calling about Tom Davis.  Spencer asked Joe Stratton to send out a message to all facility managers and the state leads to send a message out to all WHB Specialists that if they were asked “specifics” about a purchaser, they shouldn’t respond for privacy issues…”

If BLM personnel were so convinced that they sold the wild horses and burros to a “good home,” why all of the urgency and secrecy?

If the BLM truly believes these horses were sold to a “good home,” why isn’t Tom Davis’ photo featured on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program page on the BLM’s new website, instead of the photo of the young blonde girl?  After all, the BLM sold Tom Davis 1,794 wild horses and burros from 2008-2012.

If the BLM thinks they’re fooling us, they’re only fooling themselves.

All documents referenced above can be seen HERE.

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Documentation regarding BLM sale of horses to kill buyer Tom Davis http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/documentation-regarding-blm-sale-horses-kill-buyer-tom-davis/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:21:20 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=634 Snip from BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program Data page claiming that the BLM sells wild horses and burros to “Good Homes,” including the Fiscal Year 2012.           All documents below obtained through Freedom of Information Act request: emails regarding selling pregnant mares to Tom Davis from the Burns, OR corrals: ...

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new BLM horses suposedly sold Snip from BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program Data page claiming that the BLM sells wild horses and burros to “Good Homes,” including the Fiscal Year 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

All documents below obtained through Freedom of Information Act request:

emails regarding selling pregnant mares to Tom Davis from the Burns, OR corrals:

emails re selling pregnant mares to Tom Davis0001

emails re selling pregnant mares to Tom Davis0002

BLM 4/19/12 Early Alert email:

email re early alert on Tom Davis

Sally Spencer email of 5/17/12

email from Sally Spencer to not talk to reporter

BLM Fiscal Year 2012 Bills of Sale to Tom Davis

FY 2012 Bills of Sale to Tom Davis0001

FY 2012 Bills of Sale to Tom Davis0002

FY 2012 Bills of Sale to Tom Davis0003

FY 2012 Bills of Sale to Tom Davis0004

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The University of Texas LOVES SMART ASSES http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/university-texas-loves-smart-asses/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:17:06 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=632 by Marjorie Farabee – Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation Equine Manger at TMR Rescue, Inc. The University of Texas School of Law, has the distinction of being one a handful of colleges that added animal law to their curriculum before 2008. Yale, Harvard, Lewis & Clark, and University of Texas ...

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by Marjorie Farabee – Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Equine Manger at TMR Rescue, Inc.

The University of Texas School of Law, has the distinction of being one a handful of colleges that added animal law to their curriculum before 2008. Yale, Harvard, Lewis & Clark, and University of Texas School of Law, were the trailblazers. Now, there are over one hundred sixty-five in the USA who teach animal law. These students will soon be attorneys who can make a difference in the quality of life of animals. In two weeks they will be taking their exams, so their instructor, Dawn Reveley asked if I could bring Benny and do a presentation to her class about the issues facing donkeys around the world. Of course, we were thrilled to bring our ambASSador to school. As it turns out, the students have been following Benny since his first days of struggle at TAMU Large Animal hospital. How cool! They knew his story and were truly excited to see him. (http://www.tmrrescue.com/benny-meets-a-miracle) Originally, he was just going to join me for my presentation to her class, but the word got out to the rest of the school and there was no getting around offering the other students time with Benny. So, they set up a time in the atrium and set up a table for our use. We laid out our materials for the rescue and watched as stacks of brochures disappeared. I was truly amazed at these young people and the obvious compassion they shared for animals. They were all smiling, relaxed and engaged. Benny was asked to be in selfies every few minutes and we were happy to oblige. If looking at that photo makes them relax as the pressure builds, Benny did his job. As I looked out at these fresh, young faces and spoke to the Animal Law class, my faith for a positive future with animals in it, was restored. They are the best and brightest preparing to step into a world where animals are in real jeopardy of harm from cruelty, and environmental hazards. These are the fresh young minds that will seek answers to improve the futures for all of us. As true believers in diversity, we all know that a world without animals is a world that will see a complete environmental collapse. My hope was increased one hundred fold yesterday in Austin TX. Thank you, University of Texas School of Law. for having us. I am excited that Benny has been asked to come again next year! His behavior was amazing and the smiles he brought were contagious. This was a day these students and all of us at Texas Miracle Ranch will not forget. (www.tmrrescue.com)

Dawn Reveley In House Counsel for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Benny, and Marjorie Farabee

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The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing their trail on the internet http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/bureau-land-management-scrubbing-trail-internet/ Sat, 15 Apr 2017 20:48:07 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=622 After NBC News wrote about the Bureau of Land Management featuring a photo of a coal bed at the top of their website, the BLM changed it… to now feature this photo of an oil & gas pipeline. by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation                                    ...

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After NBC News wrote about the Bureau of Land Management featuring a photo of a coal bed at the top of their website, the BLM changed it… to now feature this photo of an oil & gas pipeline.

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation                                     All Rights Reserved.          Copyright 2017

The Bureau of Land Management is scrubbing most of its links off of the internet, and in doing so, erasing much of its history from public view.

Many of the blm.gov links that are still remaining on the internet at this point say “page not found,” or the links are no longer cached.

The BLM also suddenly removed state and district websites.  Instead, you will now find “landing pages” that direct you to only one main Bureau of Land Management website.  (You can look at the new BLM website HERE.)

I called a BLM Public Affairs Specialist to ask some questions about the defunct websites and links.  This person said in the past there were about 90,000 pages (and then a bit later stated that it could possibly be only about 60,000 pages) of BLM content on the internet, but that all of these pages couldn’t be maintained or updated, and weren’t centralized.  This person said the BLM’s prior content management system was outdated.

Most importantly, this person also said there were now standards to reduce the amount (of pages/content).

Who made the decision to even have a standard to reduce content available to the public on the internet?  During this website transition, who is making the decisions, and on what basis, of what data to migrate, or not to migrate, to the new BLM website?  These decisions cherry pick what information will be available to the public in the future.

Make no mistake, this “reducing the amount” of content on the internet is erasing many of this agency’s past actions, activities, and government documentation.  Many of these links had historical value.  For example, the BLM activities of BLM employees Sally Spencer and Lili Thomas over the years are now gone.  These types of links on the internet didn’t need to be “maintained” or “updated.”  They were historical in nature.

In the past, in doing a google search for Sally Spencer (a longtime BLM employee, and the Marketing Specialist famous for selling so many wild horses and burros to kill buyer Tom Davis), she was included on many, many BLM government links.  I went to the BLM’s new website and searched “Sally Spencer,” and only 3 items appeared.  When I searched “Lili Thomas” (another longtime BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program employee who oversaw the BLM’s Long Term Holding facilities for wild horses for many years), only 4 items appeared.  And when I searched “John Neill” (a longtime Palomino Valley Center manager), all that came up was “No results found.”

These individuals are BLM personnel who have been central in management issues in the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, as evidenced by FOIA documentation garnered by the late Dr. Patricia Haight of The Conquistador Program.

Even when I searched the new BLM website for “Dean Bolstad” (the Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program) only 2 items appeared.

(Although, luckily, thanks to In Defense of Animals, you can still go online and see this youtube video of Lili Thomas saying “working with wild horses is not a pretty sight” at a public meeting.)

What I can’t understand is, if the new content management system is bigger and better, why couldn’t the new content management system have contained all of the old data along with new data?  If this agency were truly transparent, they would add data, not reduce data, available to the public on the internet.

At first the Bureau of Land Management only removed the Directories for District offices and Field Offices, making it difficult, for example, to find out who was the Wild Horse & Burro Specialist, Hydrologist, Range Management Specialist or other personnel in any particular district or field office or to find an email address or telephone number for them.  BLM personnel frequently transfer to other offices and states, so it was already hard enough to try to keep up with who was where.  But now the public really doesn’t have a clue who is doing what or where.

You used to be able to go to the home pages of BLM state and district websites, and get a quick overview of not only roundup plans for wild horses & burros, but mining expansion plans, oil & gas lease sale plans, and other uses of our public lands in that area, all in one place.

Now, the BLM has divided these by topics or by “regions,” on their new website.   Under the “region” of Nevada (we call them states here in the U.S.A.), there isn’t a box for wild horses & burros (only oil and gas leasing, greater sage grouse, Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Information Access Center, Nevada Resource Advisory Councils & Federal Register Notices).

By scattering information all over this one “centralized” website, the BLM has made it much harder for the public to put together the pieces of information for a clear picture about the multiple uses of our public lands in any one area.

The Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program is HERE.  When I clicked on the box for Historical Program Data and Public Lands Statistics, I noticed something was missing that used to be available to the public.  It was the column on Adoptions by Locations & Date.  Information from the years 2009-2015 were previously available.

The biggest reason this data was important is because it let the public know the dates of adoption events (including internet adoptions), the locations of the events, the number of the wild horses and burros offered for adoption (until Fiscal Year 2014) and the number of wild horses and burros that were actually adopted at each event.

The BLM likely stopped reporting the number of horses & burros offered at adoption events in Fiscal Year 2014 because it didn’t want the public to know how many horses & burros were racking up “strikes” by not being adopted.  When a wild horse or burro isn’t adopted after 3 events and gets 3 “strikes” it can be sold without restriction (to slaughter), no matter how young it is.  Even this seemingly small reduction of data indicated a lack of transparency by this agency.

Another reason this data is important to the public is because it let the public see what areas of the country adopt the most (and the least) wild horses & burros.

While the new BLM website contains a lot of information, it seems we have lost much more information that was once available on the internet, but was not migrated to the new BLM website.  For example, the BLM News Release on its promised investigation into the deaths of wild horses at the Scott City feedlot is on the internet, but as of today, it is not one of the 63 News Releases available to the public on the BLM’s new website.

We will never know how much, or what, the BLM has removed from the internet.  The BLM’s scrubbing of their trail on the internet has not only erased part of the history of this government agency, it is censorship, and it is the equivalent of a modern day book burning.

SEE EXAMPLES REFERENCED ABOVE HERE.

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Data and information missing from BLM’s new website as of 4/15/17 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/data-information-missing-blms-new-website-41517/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/news-alerts/data-information-missing-blms-new-website-41517/#comments Sat, 15 Apr 2017 20:46:04 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=616 Regarding information available on the new BLM website (as of 4/15/17)   search for Sally Spencer on new BLM website    search for Lili Thomas on new BLM website    search for John Neill on new BLM website   search for Dean Bolstad on new BLM website   search for BLM News Release of Scott ...

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Regarding information available on the new BLM website (as of 4/15/17)

Sally Spencer search on new BLM website  search for Sally Spencer on new BLM website

Lili Thomas search on new BLM website   search for Lili Thomas on new BLM website

John Neill search on new BLM website   search for John Neill on new BLM website

Dean Bolstad on new BLM website  search for Dean Bolstad on new BLM website

snip it of News Release + Scott City on new BLM website  search for BLM News Release of Scott City on new BLM website

snip it of google cache of BLM news release on Scott City  snip it of cache of BLM News Release on Scott City on google

adoption data missing from BLM's new website   adoption data missing from new BLM website (this page copied from old website)

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Public comment needed on NV mine that will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/public-comment-needed-nv-mine-will-use-2-billion-gallons-water-10-years/ http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/blog/public-comment-needed-nv-mine-will-use-2-billion-gallons-water-10-years/#comments Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:45:08 +0000 http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/?p=596 This map shows the Gold Bar Mine area, the approximate HMA (in solid red) and HA boundaries(in broken red lines), the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field, and the approximate combined Gold Bar Mine and Mt. Hope Mine 10′ water drawdown area (in blue).  The 10′ water drawdown (in blue) effects almost ...

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scan-of-map

This map shows the Gold Bar Mine area, the approximate HMA (in solid red) and HA boundaries(in broken red lines), the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field, and the approximate combined Gold Bar Mine and Mt. Hope Mine 10′ water drawdown area (in blue).  The 10′ water drawdown (in blue) effects almost the entire Roberts Mountain HMA.  The 1′ water drawdown will effect a much larger area.  (Streams can dry up with as little as a 1′ water drawdown.)

BE SURE TO LOOK AT ALL 8 MAPS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE.

It’s best to write comments in your own words so that the BLM counts each comment as one, instead of counting a thousand similar comments/form letter as only one.  You can read the joint comments submitted by Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation below, and a quick summary on pages 5-41 of the DEIS HERE.  Comments are due by April 17, 2017.

Some suggested talking points are:

  1. Be sure to ask for the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
  2. The Gold Bar mine project will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years.  The BLM needs to take into consideration past (historic), current and likely future droughts and climate change when deciding if they will approve this DEIS.
  3. The Project will negatively impact the water, forage, safety, and “free-roaming” abilities of the Roberts Mountain wild horse herd on the Roberts Mountain HMA, as well as the nearby wild horse herds on Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.
  4. The BLM is minimizing the area of impact by only indicating the 10′ water drawdown, and not the 5′ or 1′ water drawdown.  The 5′ and 1′ water drawdown will cover a much larger area of land.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1′ of water drawdown.
  5. When the nearby Mt. Hope mine becomes operational, it is proposed that it will use an additional 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).  Mt. Hope mine will use over 3 1/2 billion gallons of water per year and over 36 billion gallons of water in 10 years.
  6. The BLM refers to the Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  These are 25 years old and outdated.  Ask for updates of this Plan and Handbook for this DEIS.
  7. The area of Gold Bar Mine will be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, creating more environmental degradation.

The DEIS is available online at HERE.   Interested individuals should address all written comments to Christine Gabriel, Project Manager, using any of the following ways:

Fax: (775) 635-4034

Email:  blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@blm.gov

Mail:  Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation submitted these joint comments regarding the BLM’s Gold Bar Mine Project:

           

Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Email: blm_NV_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@ blm.gov

DATE:  April 5, 2017

Subject: DEIS MMI Gold Bar Mine Project

Dear Ms. Gabriel:

On behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), 501(c)3 non-profit corporations, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout the United States, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit scoping comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for McEwen Mining Inc.’s (MMI) Gold Bar Mine Project (Project).

TCF, a wild horse and burro advocacy group and an advocacy group for all wildlife on our public lands in the West, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, a voice for the protection of wild horses and burros and public lands, strongly oppose the expansion of the Gold Bar mining project and we urge the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE in this DEIS for the following reasons:

Wild Horse Herds To Be Affected:

The Project will negatively impact the Roberts Mountain Wild Horse Herd as well as the nearby herds of Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.

Sage Grouse Habitat Affected:

Not only wild horses will be affected in this area. All wildlife will suffer.

Open pit mining is the most environmentally destructive type of mining anywhere. Extreme weather events can overwhelm all mandated precautions, threatening migratory birds and small mammals. In the case of a flood, even large mammals like wild horses risk exposure to potentially lethal mining waste.

Direct habitat damage due to mining plus further fragmentation by roads and large equipment traveling on these roads will eliminate hopes for the recovery of the Greater Sage Grouse in this area. The transport process in itself is dangerous—accidents, dust, spread of contaminants, noise, etc.

Greater Sage Grouse were once so numerous that the “sky was black” with these large birds, according to Ginger Kathrens’ late Uncle, Allan Ralston, who spoke of this area after his return from WWII. Now the birds are threatened and a species of critical environmental concern. BLM should prioritize these risks.

Impacts on Water Sources:

Per the Gold Bar DEIS, page 4-147, under 2 different scenarios, the mine will either pump 380 gpm (gallons per minute) or 500 gpm (gallons per minute).

If the mine pumps 380 gpm, this equals 22,800 gallons per hour, 547,200 gallons per day, and 199,728,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 billion gallons of water.

If the mine pumps 500 gpm, this equals 30,000 gallons per hour, 720,000 gallons per day, and 262,800,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 1/2 billion gallons of water.

This does not include the water which the Mt. Hope mine will use once mining begins.  Mt. Hope is projected to use 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).

The project will deplete surface and ground water resulting in the drying up of ephemeral streams. Reducing water tables to dangerously low levels will negatively impact perennial streams. This DEIS minimizes the impact on water resources by not providing 5’ or 1’ water drawdown maps and thus minimizing the additional area of land that will be effected.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1’ of water drawdown.

Maps created by Wild Horse Freedom Federation are included in the Appendix.

Map 1 – (Figure 4.23-11 of DEIS) Gold Bar Mine Wild Horse CESA (Cumulative Effects Study Area).  On page 4-265 of the DEIS, it states “The CESA for the wild horses and burros includes Roberts Mountain, Whistler Mountain, and portions of the Fish Creek HMAs, as well as Kobeh Valley and Roberts Mountain HAs where wild horses existed based on past inventories, and where they could be potentially affected by the Project…”

Map 2 – shows the addition of the approximate 10′ water drawdown area – (Figure 4.19-3 of Gold Bar Mine Project), 500 gpm (gallons per minute) for 10 years.

Map 3 – shows the addition of the approximate HMA and HA boundaries.

Map 4 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field – (Figure 3.13.1 Mt. Hope Project EIS).

Map 5 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine 10″ water drawdown area – (Figure 3.2.18 Mt Hope Project EIS).

Map 6 – shows approximate sketch of Gold Bar Mine and Mt Hope Mine with HMA and HA boundaries

Map 7 – shows approximate HMA boundaries over grazing allotments map – (Figure 3.7 – 1, Gold Bar Mine EIS)

Map 8 – shows approximate mining, water drawdown, and grazing with the HMA and HA boundaries.

BLM writes in their description of the Roberts Mountain HMA: Water availability is a key influence to wild horse use during summer months. Wild horses will generally travel much farther to water than will livestock. In many HMAs water sources are plentiful and supplied by perennial streams, springs, and human constructed water developments such as livestock water tanks and ponds. In other cases, water sources are limiting, and in drought years, wild horses may have difficulty accessing sufficient water, (emphasis added) especially if the population exceeds the Appropriate Management Level (AML). In these cases, wild horse distribution is closely tied to the location of the available waters, which becomes very important to the health of the herd.

Drought Ridden Region

Drought is common in this driest state in the Union. Emergency removals of wild horses because of the lack of water are common. Removals of 14 wild horse herds occurred in 2009 south of Ely by BLM. The Agency cited the lack of reliable water sources as the reason for the removal of wild horses on 1.4 million acres of public land.

The proposed expansion and creation of more water dependent, extractive uses of the land is irresponsible.

Outdated Plan and Manual

This DEIS is based, in part, on a plan and a manual that are each about 25 years old and outdated.  We are referring to the BLM Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  We ask that you review these outdated materials and update them if you are going to base any part of this DEIS on these outdated plans.

Economic Uncertainty

The potential for failure of this project is so high that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states: . . .in addition to greater uncertainty as to the economic feasibility of Mineralized Material compared to proven and probable reserves, there is also greater uncertainty as to the existence of Mineralized Material. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that measured or indicated resources will be converted into economically mineable reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources.

Couple the above with the failure of the previous mine developers, Atlas Corporation, who filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.

Wide Scale Damage

McEwen Mining, a Canadian Mining company, is poised to take over and create even more environmental degradation. The area would be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, or about 1/3 the size of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area where TCF is headquartered. In other words, this is destruction on a grand scale.

Damage from gold mining is permanent. No amount of mitigation can return the landscape to anything approaching a natural state. Over flights of the area reveal large-scale destruction. Increasing this permanent destruction for the hope of short-term gain is not a reasonable, and certainly not an environmentally friendly decision.

For the above reasons, we urge you to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE for the Gold Bar Mine Project.

Thanks very much for your consideration of our position on this important issue.

Sincerely,

          

Ginger Kathrens                             Debbie Coffey

Executive Director,                         Vice-President,

The Cloud Foundation, Inc.          Wild Horse Freedom Federation

107 S. 7th Street                                P.O. Box 390

Colorado Springs, CO 80905        Pinehurst, TX  77362

MAPS:

Map 1

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-1.pdf

Map 2

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-2.pdf

Map 3

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-3.pdf

Map 4

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-4.pdf

Map 5

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-5.pdf

Map 6

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-6.pdf

Map 7

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-7.pdf

Map 8

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-8-with-mining-water-drawdown-and-grazing.pdf

 

 

 

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