Friday, January 05, 2007

BLM - wasting your tax dollars and violating Federal law

There is THIS STORY out of Nevada. The BLM is apparently going to spend $300,000-$400,000 relocating 1,200 wild horses and burros (approx $300 per animal).

Animal rights activists are fighting the move claiming it violates existing federal law. The relevant statute is 16 U.S.C.1331. Its only a paragraph long and written in actual English, not some D.C legislative gobbledygook. This time I'm going to side with the animal activists.
Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.


Sunni Kay said...

This is more just a short story than a for or against vote on your post. I live in Nevada, and wild mustangs are very common just outside of the Reno/Sparks area. I have lived just outside of Reno/Sparks for the lat ten years. The horses are amazing and beautiful and tend to leave people alone and mind their own business. People tend to do the same for the horses for the most part. At my last residence, in the winter months when there was snow on the ground, it was very common to have the horses come down from the surrounding hills to graze on my yard and those of the neighbors. It was a breath taking sight, but usually left horse mess to contend with in the morning. There were also many times that I would find it difficult to get to work in them morning as the horses would still be there and blocking the drive way or the road. That never really bothered my though.

I have noticed that in recent years the animals populations seem to be on the rise. I know that locally the herds are thinned through capture, and the animals are moved to a facility where they are auctioned to private citizens. I know that locally it is heavily monitored and that only a certain percentage is taken depending on the herd sizes.

Purple Avenger said...

I believe when you have a natural eco-SYSTEM, it needs to be left alone to function as a system and attain its own natural balance.

Overly healthy horse/burro populations will cause undesired ripples elsewhere. Maybe the coyotes aren't as successful at thinning an ultra-healthy herd and go into decline. When the coyotes go into decline, something else perks up - armadillos, jackrabbits, etc and you find yourself overrun with those.

Sunni Kay said...

Of course, all that you just said is all certainly true. I have never worked with the people who do round up the horses and move them to Palamino Valley (they area that they corral the horses until auction or re-release when populations permit), but I have read a bit on them, and know that they feel they have very good reasons for doing what they do. Probably even more than I have already listed. Maybe I should take a trip out there and ask twenty or so questions. You have my curiosity peaked now.

Purple Avenger said...

Ask around, but then quietly note who is getting roundup contracts and how they were awarded.

Was it no-bid, or bid? Who at the federal level was driving this?

I just have a suspicion that some congressman might be using this as a local pork thing.

There's probably a ton of FOIA requests that would be needed to really track down the whole thing and determine if its on the up and up or something else.

BLM's history isn't exactly sterling ;->