National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting Part I (of many)

I know that this has been the ultimate topic in the world here recently. Because I was unable to watch the live broadcast due to life, I have spent today reading the transcripts of day 1… well part of the transcripts of day 1 because there are 179 pages to just day one alone. Now, that said, I am not even going to try to read all of that in one day, so this post is actually just going to be focused on pages 1-41 of this document.

Overall, what I got out of this first part of this transcript is that the BLM is just as poorly organized as we already knew. There are many different people on this board, though I feel like this meeting was solely about Nevada, only about the issues and programs available in Nevada… Which really doesn’t sit will with me because this whole shindig is supposed to be about all of the wild horses. Since I haven’t gotten to day 2 of this meeting, I cannot know what I will find. But day one seems to only refer to people in the BLM that work in Nevada. I have said it once, I will say it again, California, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, and Idaho. I very much look forward to reading the rest of the transcripts so that I can hope to have my mind changed. While Nevada is home to the largest population of wild horses/burros, a solution to increasing populations needs to be found to cover all states that are home to wild horses/burros.

I have some very big questions about a “Stakeholder Engagement Partnership Toolbox”, but I suspect that I will find some answers once I have read the entire document. Today, I learned a lot about the Nevada BLM. That they are responsible for 63% of the land in Nevada. That is 48 million surface acres and 59 million subsurface acres. The three largest BLM programs is the wild horse and burro program, the minding program, and the livestock grazing program. To be honest, I really don’t think that those three things together… Going back to the fact that Nevada BLM does maintain 48 million surface acres, I am in touch with reality in that I know what very little of that land is reserved solely for wild horses and burros. In fact, 1 million acres is under lease for oil and gas. Another 4 million which could be used for oil and gas is being deferred for sage-grouse habitat. There is mention of the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act, which I haven’t read yet, but I intend to so that I can draw my own conclusions on what that means to the wild horses and burros.

I also learned that the BLM gives out 677 grazing permits and leases, and about 2 million AUM’s which are permitted for livestock grazing. Of these 677 permits which are granted, the BLM does not know, or did not know in that moment, how many permitees that that number actually represents. This is a little bothersome to me, because I would think that each household/name would be allowed only one permit. I will be looking into what one grazing permit or lease would get a rancher, just for fairness sake.

Right from the get go, I catch numbers. Numbers that once again, do not make sense. The Nevada BLM claims to maintain 83 HMA’s, but according to my own research, and information that the BLM themselves have provided to the public people, there are thirteen (13) properly labeled HMA’s here. It would be a luxury to have an official HMA list for each of the states that house wild horses/burros. That would be really great…

I have a couple of obvious questions, including why the BLM needs funding from Nevada’s Cattleman to discuss the sage-grouse plans…

I also don’t understand this… we are here to discuss ways to manage wild horses and burros in the most humane and efficient manner possible… so why on this good Earth are we talking about sage-grouse?  Why are we talking about permit renewals? And what does the Arjana Mountain complex have to do with anything?

The state-wide AML is estimated to be 12,811. The estimated population as of March 1st was around 34,500. Now… according to the BLM, this is a 20% increase…. and I know that I am not very good at math, but I know what this difference is over 50%. And I also know that there would be an immense difference between 83 HMA’s and 13. And that difference is incredibly important. I would very much appreciate if the BLM could get their facts straight and start closing the gap between what they tell the public in their documents and what they say during stuff like this.

I am actually going to cut myself off there. I hope to learn much more instead of just jumping to conclusions like it feels like everyone else is doing. I know how important it is to be educated and show all perspectives. And that is what I want ya’ll to be, educated. Anyways, I hope that you have a blessed life and that you are considerate enough to share to lovely, educational article with your own friends. 🙂

 

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