Newspaper column: BLM agents should follow the law on wild horses and not their bleeding hearts

Wild horses being warehoused at Palomino Valley near Reno. (Photo by Jo Mitchell)

Wild horses being warehoused at Palomino Valley near Reno. (Photo by Jo Mitchell)

When it comes to carrying out the instructions from Congress on the management of wild horses and burros under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the BLM is so bold and so brazen as to write on its own website that it doesn’t care one whit what the law says, as recounted in this week’s newspaper column, available online at The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.

Under a section of its website labeled Myths and Facts the BLM denies that it is selling or sending wild horses to slaughter:

“Fact: This charge is absolutely false. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and it has been and remains the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter. Consequently, as the Government Accountability Office noted in a report issued in October 2008, the BLM is not in compliance with a December 2004 amendment (the so-called Burns Amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act) that directs the Bureau to sell excess horses or burros ‘without limitation’ to any willing buyer.”

In another “Fact” the agency admits there are 14,000 too many horses currently roaming the West.

These are just two of the myriad misdeeds by the federal land management agency revealed in a recent federal lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation against the Department of Interior, the BLM, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and others.

The suit asks the court to issue an injunction or writ requiring federal agencies to follow the wild horse and burro law, because its current failure to do so is starving the very animals the law was intended to protect.

“Free-roaming horse and burro herds in Nevada are frequently observed to be in malnourished condition, with the ribs and skeletal features of individual animals woefully on view and other signs of ill-health readily observable,” the suit says.

The federal agencies often claim that their ability to properly maintain the population of wild horses and burros is hampered by a lack of funds. The suit calls this a “self-inflicted handicap,” because half of the BLM’s horse and burro budget is going to warehousing those 50,000 animals, which can live for 25 to 30 years.

Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs, told The Associated Press, “The plaintiffs have an arrogant sense of entitlement. I’m grateful the American public will see how the plaintiffs allegedly intend on denying native wild horses the right to water and are requesting BLM destroy the majority of the roundup survivors. Their lawsuit will rally more voters to fight for wild horses to remain wild and free for future generations.

If that is the case, perhaps the law should be amended rather than ignored by those paid to enforce the law.

The suit: Wild horse suit in pdf format

Read the entire column at Ely or Elko.

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12 comments on “Newspaper column: BLM agents should follow the law on wild horses and not their bleeding hearts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let’s just go for complete anarchy. With so many laws on the books, and so few being enforced (important ones, like those related to immigration), why bother with any of them? The President of the United States just decides which laws, and parts of laws he wants to obey. Soon the people will do the same.

  2. And Harry Reid has the audacity to accuse tea party types of being anarchists.

  3. Athos says:

    Just read a quote from Mark Twain. Seems to sum up what’s wrong with our country. Here it is:

    Mark Twain once said, “It is easier to fool a man than to convince him that he’s been fooled.”

    Of course, that’s what keeps our casinos rolling in the dough!

  4. Athos says:

    Oh, and petey, I didn’t fact check that quote. Maybe you can do it for me?

  5. As Governor I will protect these beautiful animals of the American West LEGACY.

  6. […] is a concomitant melancholy to seeing acres of small corrals stretching across Palomino Valley near Reno, each filled with milling mustangs. These are the shaggy, skinny, sway-backed, pied, […]

  7. […] Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau recently sued the BLM and others over the handling of wild horses, asking the court to issue an injunction or […]

  8. Steve says:

    “Harry Reid has the audacity to accuse tea party types of being anarchists.”

    Ever notice those who are loudest with suspicion and accusation are usually the ones most guilty of the very things in which they accuse others?

  9. […] be cited by the Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, who have sued the Department of Interior, the BLM, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and others for failing follow the requirements of […]

  10. […] for managing wild horses and burros is consumed by warehousing them in corrals. The BLM claims it doesn’t have the budget to round up any more horses, as reported in this week’s newspaper column available online at […]

  11. […] for managing wild horses and burros is consumed by warehousing them in corrals. The BLM claims it doesn’t have the budget to round up any more […]

  12. […] The suit from the Nevada Association of Counties, the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation and others asks the court to issue an injunction or writ requiring federal agencies to follow the wild horse and burro law, because its current failure to do so is starving the very animals the law was intended to protect, damaging range land used for cattle grazing and taking private water rights. […]

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