Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Circle of Life

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops. ~Kelvin Throop

Usually, I do not get this fired up about a subject that is not directly affecting me, but I guess, in several ways this issue does directly affect me. Below is an excerpt from an article that was recently published in the Reno Gazette Journal. Don’t get me wrong, I love my horses and I love Argo, but I questioned the need for him to be captured from the very beginning.

Plan to round up wild horses in Nevada angers some

“The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has started removing 1,480 horses south of Battle Mountain and plans to begin removing 450 more in January south of Gerlach, agency spokesman JoLynn Worley said.”

“Without the actions, she said, the animals could starve this winter because of extremely limited forage. The horses will be sent to a BLM coral just north of Reno to be readied for adoption or long-term holding.”

“We shouldn’t be rounding up any more horses until we resolve the issue of tens of thousands of horses that already have been rounded up and are in holding pens,” said Matt Rossell, outreach coordinator for the San Rafael, Calif.-based animal rights group In Defense of Animals.”

Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute based in Washington D.C., disputed the agency’s conclusion that an emergency exists. “They’re not starving, and they’re using it as an excuse to remove more horses,” Heyde said. “They can survive if we can keep our little fingers off them.” Worley said leaving the herds alone could cause large die-offs and damage rangelands.

BLM officials have said the agency faces a crisis because of the skyrocketing costs of caring for the horses in long-term facilities where the animals live out their days — some for as long as 20 years.

You can read the entire article here.

When is the public going to scream at their lawmakers and ask them to be more responsible with our money? Starving Wild Horses! They are not domestic. We already have an unwanted horse crisis as it is within the domestic horse population, why does the government feel the need to capture more to throw them into long term holding to live out their days.

I know this will upset some people, but unless you want to put all these Mustangs in your backyard, take a dose of reality. Wild Mustangs are a natural part of the eco-system. When they die they become food for another part of the eco-system, whether it is a predator bird, the Mountain lion feeding her cubs, or a coyote scavenging for remains, all the way down the chain to the horse decomposing into the Earth and replacing what was used. This is part of the natural balance of the Earth. The BLM has screwed up this ecosystem to a point where now they are going to start begging our law makers to give them more money to feed the mustangs in long term holding. The BLM is going to ask for a bailout during a time when none of us can afford to bail ourselves out.

Has anyone thought of what the impact to the other predatory animals in the 10 Western States is going to be with the calculated removal of the Wild Mustangs? I have done a quick bit of research on this. The Mountain Lion Foundation has been doing a study involving the lions in regards to their eating habits and Wild Mustangs. It has been found that the mountain lions are taking down mustangs for food. Furthermore, the Nevada Department of Wildlife is scratching their heads as to why they are losing Big Horn Sheep to the big cats. An excerpt from their predator management plan: “Wildlife Services will attempt to control resident lions if they are in conflict with bighorn sheep.” Hummm, do you think it could be because you are surgically removing a possible alternative food source? Also, what did you think would happen to the Sheep, they are also a food source for the mountain lions?

This same report talks about protecting Mule Deer from Coyotes. Another excerpt from their management plan: “A total of 148 coyotes were removed by various methods from the entire Wilson Creek project.” Want to know my thoughts on why the coyotes are being removed? Money that is received from hunters wanting to hunt trophy mule deer is the biggest motivator. Do you know how much an out of state tag costs for someone wanting to buy a license to hunt? $142.00. A state resident is charged $33.00. Factor in that a lot of out of state hunters use a professional outfitter to help them find a trophy buck which can cost at a minimum $4,000 to the hunter to use the outfitter. Hunting is big business; just ask the NRA or my husband on that matter.

To protect the bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk and some grouse in this report, their submitted budget for fiscal year 2006 was $367,549. That’s not their total budget; this was for just eliminating/removing mountain lions, coyotes and ravens!

I’m not even going to get into the grazing cattle on this post. Suffice it to say, lobbyists are directing what our lawmakers are doing in Washington. For my thoughts on how the cattlemen are also pushing for the extermination of the Mustangs you can read my post on it here.

Follow the money and you will see the Wild mustangs are being exterminated because of greed and money. The government is not worried about the starving wild mustangs; they are worried about the money that they can line their pockets with, and the Wild Mustangs are in the way of that.

We all need to take action on this, even if you have no stake in what happens to the wild mustangs, mountain lions, coyotes or for God’s sake ravens, because the fact remains that the government mismanages our hard earned money every day and unless we start telling them how, when and where our money is to be spent, they will spend us straight into oblivion.

You can contact your representatives and congressmen by going to the following website http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.


Mikey said...

Amen to that. The government screws it all up. What are they thinking? It's nature! But they get in there and mess with it, then wonder why they have all these horses in holding pens and they can't feed them either!! Burns me, I tell ya.
Also loved the music here, love that first song. Watch Spirit of the Cimarron much, lol? We watch that movie at least once a week in this house... and I still tear up.

Linda Reznicek said...

I agree! You need to let nature cull Mustangs--the strongest survive and we get a hearty horse. These round ups are a crappy excuse to get them off the range for cattle.

I think people have the idea that because we love Mustangs and want to "protect" them, it means we want to never see them suffer--and while it would be great that no animal ever suffer--it's not reality. We just want Mustangs left alone.

But, of course, Mustangs will survive, prosper, and increase in number and they know it.

Tracey said...

Doesn't make me angry, but I do disagree.

Because the horses aren't truly wild (as in native), they aren't a part of our ecosystem. There aren't enough natural predators out there, which is one of the reasons we have an over abundance of horses to begin with. The horses just plain multiply too quickly, and they damage the rangeland for other native species.

So here we sit, you're right, with unwanted horses. But it's in an effort to keep herd levels healthy, ranges healthy, and leave enough forage for native species enough to winter over.

I've got a backyard of mustangs, and I'll take on more. I'd rather they be gathered than left to starve.

Good news is that they've begun gelding at gathers as well as administering PZP to the mares in an effort to reduce offspring over the upcoming years. Cross your fingers that it works!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Leave it to the government to screw things up. They should just leave them be, and not round up anymore horses, nature will take its course. Unfortunately, the cattle lobbyists are very powerful and need grazing land, so that's why there is so much concern about the 'poor horses' plight.In my opinion the horses suffer with all this concern for them, I'm sure they would rather not be starving in metal corals, but taking their chances on the range running free.
I'm sure the folks out west disagree with me, but that's the way I see it.

SkyBar Farm said...

Mikey~ I always amazed at what the goverment manages to get their hands into and then ultimately screws up. As to the music, yes we enjoy Spirit, I tear up as well.

Linda~ I totally agree with letting the strongest survive. I am not against gathering every few years from each HMA and adopting out the youngest, but there is no ryhme or reason to how the BLM does it.

Tracey~ I enjoy you emmensely and your thoughts, but I will think we will have to agree to disagree on some points. As far as them starving it is like the ecomomy, if the goverment would keep there hands out of it, it would self correct itself. As far as the PZP, I only know of two herds in Nevada they have tested on, if there is more they have done it with great. As far as gelding, I hope they are not gelding and then releasing them back into the wild. That would be a death sentence to the gelding. Fill me in on what you meant there.

Gray Horse Matters~ I agree with you 100% The cattle lobbyists have a huge vested interest in this. which is most of my argument. If there is enough grazing land for the millions of cattle, then why is there not enough for 27,000 mustangs?

CastoCreations said...

The government tends to screw up most things it tries. *sigh*