Legal Action Filed by Wild Horse Org Against BLM Gold Rock Decision
(Ely,NV) Yesterday Wild Horse Education (WHE) filed legal action against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of the Canadian Fiore Gold Rock mining project. The group asserts that BLM failed to notify and include wild horse interests in the decision process. The filing also alleges that BLM did no analysis on the effected wild horse population and that including “page and specific failure” was impossible in the documents filed Wednesday.
“This repetitive cycle of the agency failure to adequately document, analyze and act appropriately in decisions effecting wild horse populations increases conflicts in land management; it does not mitigate a damage, it creates new ones.” said Laura Leigh, President of WHE.
The filing states: Wild horses are to be managed within limited territorial boundaries. The impacts to the land within these boundaries requires careful and considerate analysis as the horses have “nowhere else to go.”
Wild horses are legally obligated to remain within boundary lines delineating what is referenced as a “Herd Management Area,” or HMA. HMA’s are a series of fenced areas for livestock or mining. A significant disturbance in one of these areas can be devastating to a wild horse herd that can not legally leave the area without impacting other interests or being considered off a legal HMA and subject to immediate removal.
“These habitat impacts effect the wild horse most of all. Every single acre disturbed can not legally be replaced. Yet the wild horses are continually the most under analyzed in all of the decisions, program wide. An arbitrary boundary line of the HMA and an estimated population count is not analysis. Assertions of how this will effect the population, with no data provided to support an assertion, is a betrayal of public trust.” Leigh stated.
The organization had requested that the BLM create an supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and allow the wild horse community to provide comment, input and recommendations.
The agency made no changes to it’s analysis and simply approved the project.
“Wild horse advocates feel frustrated and ignored repeatedly in decisions that can have catastrophic impacts to wild populations,” Leigh continued “and it seems like the BLM does everything they can to magnify that feeling.”
The group stated in court documents that this herd is so significant to them that they held a board meeting, at this exact location, earlier this year. It was devastating for all members to learn that the BLM had been in the process of approving this mine for over two years and the group was never notified.
NOTE: In the last two days we have sent two significant press release; the first on the Gold Bar Mine that threatens and entire herd and the second on the spay experiment that is moving forward, it seems BLM will simply find a way. Both are presented in full before being paced in an archive link.
8/22/2018: BLM Continues To Push Spaying Wild Horses as Entire Program Flounders
BLM Continues To Push Spaying Wild Horses as Entire Program Flounders
(Reno, NV) Today the Bureau of Land Management sent a revised Environmental Assessment (EA) out for public comment until September 2nd on their proposal to move forward with an experimental procedure on wild horses in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA) in Oregon.
On August 8th Colorado State University backed out of their participation in this highly dangerous study proposed by BLM. Colorado State did not release a reason for terminating their participation.
“BLM continues to mix messages as they push an expensive experimental procedure,” state Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education. “They are pushing a highly dangerous and scientifically unjustified procedure under the guise of a need to manage populations at Warm Springs. Managing populations at Warm Springs is not reliant on tearing out the ovaries of wild horses.”
The proposed procedure is one only performed on domestic horses in a sterile environment. Most veterinarians will only perform the procedure if there is an underlying medical condition that warrants it due to risks. This procedure is one most Americans reject for their own horses and are outraged it is being proposed for wild horses.
“BLM likes to pretend it has all kinds of data to justify it’s actions and that advocates simply do not understand,” continued Leigh, “We understand. We are seeing BLM move massive mining projects forward with no more analysis than an outline of an HMA boundary and a population estimate as their analysis on massive devastating impacts to wild horses and their habitat. BLM has no more justification to perform a dangerous experiment pushed by pro-slaughter politicians than it has to rip up the earth wild horses need to thrive. BLM has management options. BLM refuses to use them because they prefer to whine that it’s just too hard.”
Wild horses throughout the West are dealing with fire, drought, failures in data and range monitoring. An understaffed BLM is spending way too much time on continuing to try to ram spaying down the publics throat. Wild horses are not dogs and cats in home, they are wild horses on the range. BLM should be spending more time addressing the severe deficits of data outlined by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report of 2013. Until they do that the program is simply continuing to create actions without justification.
Wild Horse Education and it’s members will continue to push back against this unjustified action.
The amended EA can be found here: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage¤tPageId=158496