Monday, March 1, 2010

Twin Peaks Proposed Roundup: 1,980 Wild Horses & Burros Targeted in CA

Our voices are making a difference for America's wild horses, and now is the time to keep up the pressure! We told you this would be a long, difficult fight - and we are the horses' only hope. Please take action below and send this alert to at least three friends or family members. It's critical that we grow our grassroots efforts on behalf of these magnificent horses. The deadline for submitting public comments is March 5, 2010.

In the last two months, after receiving well over ten thousand public comments in opposition, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has postponed two scheduled wild horse roundups in Utah's Confusion Mountains Complex and eastern Nevada's Eagle Herd Management Area.
And on February 5, 2010, the BLM halted -- several weeks early and 500 horses short of its 2,432 horse removal goal - the intensely controversial Calico Mountains Complex wild horse roundup. So far we know at least 49 horses have lost their lives due to the helicopter stampede and capture at Calico and an additional 25-30 pregnant mares spontaneously aborted. Equine veterinary experts dispute the BLM's claim that the miscarriages were due to poor nutritional condition of the mares, citing the stress and trauma of the roundup and capture as a more likely cause. As a result of calls, letters and emails from concerned citizens, 700 free-living mustangs in Utah and Nevada have, for now, been spared the sad fate that has befallen the Calico horses.

Now we need you to act again to oppose the massive removal of more than 1,980 wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in California which is scheduled to take place in August and September, 2010.

 The letters sent:

We oppose the current proposal by the Eagle Lakes Field Office to roundup 1,800 wild horses and 180 burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA). The BLM has been found repeatedly to arbitrarily set Appropriate Mangement Levels for Wild Horses at numbers so low they often defy common sense. Such is the case with the BLM's contention that the 798,000-acre Twin Peaks public HMA can only sustain 448-758 horses and 72-116 burros.

The BLM's proposed massive removal of wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks HMA and the warehousing of these animals in government holding facilities violates the intent of Congress and the will of the American people that our wild horses be managed on the range in a humane and minimally-intrusive manner that preserves their wild and free-roaming behavior.

As a result, I urge the field office to consider and explore in the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA) the following measures to improve management of the wild horses in the Twin Peaks HMA:

*  Re-evaluate and increase the Appropriate Management Level (AML) for wild horses for this 798,000-acre complex;

*  Utilize the BLM's discretion under 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a) to close or limit livestock grazing in the Twin Peaks HMA and/or or designate this area to be managed principally for wild horse herds under 43 C.F.R. 4710.3-2

*  Offer any ranchers grazing livestock in the Twin Peaks HMA the option to retire cattle grazing allotments or convert cattle grazing allotments to wild horse allotments which could in turn promote ecotourism activities;

*  Implement and expand the current proposal of fertility control treatments to allow more horse to remain on the range;

*  Implement range improvements and water enhancements that will benefit all animals, including wildlife and horses, living in the Twin Peaks HMA.

Further, any environmental assessment conducted for this capture plan must include objective evaluation of the above mentioned items, as well as an detailed economic analysis of the costs associated with the capture, removal and short- and long-term warehousing of these horses, and a full consideration of the impacts of capture, removal and warehousing on the horses taken from the range. The EA must consider and determine how actions listed above would allow the BLM to increase the Twin Peaks AML.

Please use this opportunity to implement a humane and progressive management program for the Twin Peaks mustangs and burros and reject the proposed plan to massively round up and warehouse these free-living animals.

Thank you for your consideration.

Public comment period closed on March 5, 2010.