Breaking News – 20 Environmental and Wildlife Organizations Have Petitioned President Trump, Sec. of the Int. Zinke and Congress to Rectify the Livestock Grazing Issues on Public Lands.

In a unprecented step to stop the heavy impact of livestock grazing on our public lands, we have joined environmental and wildlife organizations to fight for our wildlands.

The petition asks for limits to be set in areas that are fragile or need rest to recover from grazing impacts. It also asks for reductions in areas where livestock are in conflict with wildlife either for forage, or habitat protections.

You may ask how this helps horses at all, and the answer is that our wild horses are wildlife. This is something the livestock industry has bullied the government into ignoring for years, despite court rulings that declare them wildlife, they are still treated as if they are feral pests on their own lands.

We have joined with other organizations that not only fight for the environment, but also for wild species such as wolves, coyotes, etc. We believe every native species has a right to survive in their natural habitat. Right now the priority is given to commercial interests and we want to change that.

The petition will soon be received by President Trump, Dept of the Int. Sec, Ryan Zinke and members of Congress. However, we want to give all of you a chance to sign the petition as well, to do that click below:

Sign the Petition to Save OUR Lands

 

This is the petition that was sent in from our Coalition to save our lands:
A Public Petition to Congress, Department of Interior

 

Dear President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke:

We, the American people and the undersigned organizations representing them, petition you to minimize the impact of livestock grazing on federal public lands, including but not limited to national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands, to address ecological problems caused by commercial livestock grazing. Ecological problems are occurring in instances where:

  • livestock grazing displaces wildlife, reduces wildlife populations through competition for forage, or degrades wildlife habitats;
  • degradation is occurring to the land (for example, erosion or soil compaction);
  • transmission of pathogens is occurring from livestock to wildlife populations;
  • degradation is occurring to plant communities;
  • native wildlife are killed to advance the interests of public lands ranchers;
  • livestock are damaging to sensitive wetlands or riparian areas; or
  • damage is occurring to streams and aquatic habitats for sensitive fishes and amphibians.
  • Ruminant grazing contributes to the nitrogen load in streams as well as nitrous oxide gasses also a greenhouse gas.

With this petition, we seek reductions in the numbers of commercial livestock on public lands that are sufficient to prevent further damage to native ecosystems, and allow the recovery of currently degraded lands to a natural state. On some lands which evolved in the absence of large grazers, such as the low-elevation shrubsteppes and deserts of the Great Basin, where soil productivity is dependent on fragile biological soil crusts, the appropriate maximum stocking rate for commercial livestock may be zero.

Poorly managed livestock can cause dustbowl effects through overgrazing. Removal of native grasses and trampling and compaction of soils paves the way for invasive weeds such as cheatgrass, which burn with unnatural frequency and convert native desert and shrubsteppe vegetation to cheatgrass monocultures of no habitat value to wildlife. This increase in range fires and the cheatgrass invasion that follows in their wake cannot be successfully stemmed or reversed through the construction of fuelbreaks or an increase in direct attack. In an increasingly flammable West, firefighters have a poor record of extinguishing all ignitions. Furthermore, during windy, drought conditions when large fires are most likely to occur, fires commonly spot a mile or more ahead of the flame front, even leaping interstate highways and major rivers. It is necessary to stop ignoring the root cause of this cycle of cheatgrass and fire – the domestic livestock that spread cheatgrass seeds and destroy the native perennial bunchgrasses and biological soil crusts that are nature’s best defense against cheatgrass invasion.

Commercial livestock grazing on public lands is a taxpayer-subsidized program that costs the American people not only the loss of the quality of our public lands and waters, but also loss of wildlife.

The subsidies for livestock grazing outweigh the fees collected for public lands grazing by approx $1.4 billion annually. (based on Bureau of Land Management 2014 income from Grazing program and 2013 Subsidies) So there is no financial advantage for the nation to underwrite subsidies for this program, but setting these important limitations would have a positive impact on our budget, because it would reduce many of the subsidies to be paid.

We also pay for an agency whose only mission is to deal with predators of livestock, which creates population issues of cervids and other animals. So limitations would also remove the need for Wildlife Services, and saving a further $100 million annually.

This would also remove the migratory problems and injuries we see with fencing. Reopening migratory routes will help keep some species off the ESA list. Injuries to special status species like the greater sage grouse would be greatly reduced by removing fences and limiting grazing  in any areas of critical concern.

Cattle grazing on public lands in the western states is putting a domestic species adapted to moist, northern European ecosystems into an arid environment where they are ill-suited to survive.  As a result, cattle concentrate along streamsides, springs, wetlands, and lakeshores that under natural circumstances are oases of biodiversity with rich and productive vegetation communities, but under heavy grazing and trampling become denuded and degraded. This damage results in the loss or reduction of the large majority of native wildlife that depend on rich riparian habitats for some or all of their life cycles; notable among such species are rare jumping mice, sage-grouse, songbirds, and beavers which are the ecological keystone of western stream systems. We also see a serious decline in water sources or riparian areas due to the lingering nature of livestock near water sources in this type of climate, and the habit of defecating in those waters.

Livestock grazing also has devastating impacts on stream and river systems, and the fishes and other aquatic life that they support. Bank trampling by cattle breaks down overhanging banks that under natural conditions provide shade and cover for fishes, and convert stream profiles from deep and narrow to wide and shallow. This, together with the removal of overhanging natural vegetation and the resulting loss of shade raises water temperatures, often to levels outside the thermal tolerance zones of native trout and salmon. Cattle concentrating along, and wallowing in, streams and rivers results in radical increases in erosion and siltation, turning crystalline waters into turbid flows, and smothering trout and salmon spawning gravels with silt.

Domestic sheep cause additional problems by transmitting pathogens which induce deadly pneumonia in wild bighorn sheep. Pneumonia outbreaks commonly result in losses of 30 to 70% of an affected bighorn herd, with total mortality and local extirpation occurring in some instances. Following a pneumonia outbreak, lambs born to surviving ewes typically die shortly after weaning, resulting in depressed recruitment rates which may inhibit herd growth for years to follow. Despite decades of translocation and restoration efforts to reverse the effects of a precipitous crash in which an estimated 98% of all bighorn sheep were lost, populations Westwide remain at less than 5% of historic numbers. Disease events resulting from contact with domestic sheep are the primary limiting factor in the recovery of this iconic native species.

In summary, by limiting the livestock in areas of conflict or degradation you can: save money, save wildlife, and save the value of our lands and water.

Respectfully yours,

Theresa J Barbour
UVOTE Coalition
PO Box 115
Drain OR 97435
541.315.6650

Signing on behalf of:
Erik Molvar
Executive Director
Western Watersheds Project

Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM
President
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

Jeanne Brummet
Founder
Unified Voices of the Eagle (UVOTE) Coalition
Public Lands, Truth Campaign, Director

Kathleen Hayden
Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza Inc

Michele Anderson
Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance

Kirk Robinson, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Western Wildlife Conservancy

Shelley Silbert
Executive Director
Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Val Cecama-Hogsett
Executive Director
National Wild Horse & Burro Administration

Roger Dobson
Protect The Wolves™
A Native American Group

Nancy Hilding
President
Prairie Hills Audubon Society

Christina Marie Anderson
Paws Across America Advocacy

Sandi Claypool
Monero Mustangs

Patience O’Dowd
Wild Horse Observers Association

Jen Howe
Wild Horses of Southern Utah

Mr. Ara Marderosian
Sequoia ForestKeeper®

Mike Garrity
Executive Director
Alliance for the Wild Rockies

Camilla H. Fox
Founder & Executive Director
Project Coyote

Christine Blackwell
Hang a Halter

Manda Kailmian
The Cana Foundation

Amy Hanchey
Pegasus Equine Guardian Association


Cc: Members of Congress
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27 thoughts on “Breaking News – 20 Environmental and Wildlife Organizations Have Petitioned President Trump, Sec. of the Int. Zinke and Congress to Rectify the Livestock Grazing Issues on Public Lands.

  1. This effort makes more sense than anything I have seen. We must protect wildlife diversity and the PUBLIC lands that supports that wildlife. Without wildlife diversity humans will then suffer their own decline. As humans we have an implicit responsibility to protect all natural life and the open environment that sustains it.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. When Val, one of our Board members came up with this idea while talking to Erik Molvar, from Western Watersheds, she wanted to make it clear that Citizens Against Equine Slaughter, and the branch she runs, National Wild Horse & Burro Administration, are different than the average wild horse advocates. We don’t just stand and insist wild horses be left alone. We acknoledge that populations have to be in balance with other species. Diversity in both flora and fauna are essential to the circle right? We also clearly see that the problem came with livestock and it has been allowed to grow larger because of political collusion with the livestock industry, and this must stop. They have a huge membership, and a lot of our taxpayer money, and of course profits from nearly free land use in their pockets. So we have to come together, we have to stand together and we have to hve a much louder voice to save our west.

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  2. It’s a privilege to live in an area where wild horses roam in neighborhoods where people live. They are only trying to survive. This was what was given to them. They did not ask for this life. I feel that people should respect the horses. Don’t go chasing them and trying to break up the bands. They are beautiful animals and they deserve our respect. Allow the birth control to continue. This will allow the bands to continue at a slower rate. The people that let these horses loose, are the ones that should be punished. Stop the roundups of the horses. In our area, there are no cattle roaming. There is plenty of space for these horses. I and many of our neighbors love to see these horses in the neighborhood. A reminder to the people, in Nevada it is against the law to feed these horses, but you are allowed to water them.

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  3. Cattlemen have no intrinsic right to graze their livestock on public lands–they bribe politicians and brutally eliminate wild residents who might compete.

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  4. that land was set aside for the wild horses and burros, not for cattle ranchers to let their cattle use and destroy the land!!! they have no business using this land! They use and destroy much more land than the wild horses use. tell our politicians to uphold the law and let the cattle industry fend for themselves!!

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  5. I can’t vote, so I can’t sign. BLM and Department of Interior are being paid by the Tax paying public. Doesn’t the public get to decide anything?

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  6. The sheer numbers of cattle on the planet is highly destructive to the environment. Because of horses digestive systems, they cannot break down seeds and those pass through their system to reseed the land thus making them a huge benefit for the vegetative process. This also helps prevent soil erosion. Cattle on the other hand are just the opposite as their digestive systems completely break down everything including seeds so they turn the environment into a dust bowl. Also, when horses graze they crop grass off typically leaving the root. Cattle wrap their tongues around the grass and pull removing the root. Again cattle = dust bowl. ‘Our’ government/BLM is getting paid by private cattle businesses who are making money off of the public’s property and the citizens along with our wildlife are suffering for it.

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  7. The land is not left pristine after the cattle have run roughshod and contaminated it. They must pay ( over and above their grazing fee) to restore and/or keep them moving.

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  8. Our soil and water are getting so toxic , it isn’t funny any more, if it keeps ups all the money ever made in USA can not clean it up, and its so bad it won’t be long before it hits the city, do something to stop it man

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  9. Please restrict cattle grazing on federal lands that belong to the American people. It’s destroying our lands while the destruction is being blamed on wild horses and unfairly so.

    Like

  10. Limits need to be set in areas that are fragile or need rest to recover from grazing impacts. It also asks for reductions in areas where livestock are in conflict with wildlife either for forage, or habitat protections. Cattle & sheep destroy the land., unlike predators
    Or wild horses . Cattle & cheep graze till there is nothing left . Their waste is toxic , in-line horses which serve as fertilizer . Horses also move around & don’t eat everything down in one spot .

    There has to be better ratios for cattle & grazing rights which get 80% if our public land . Land which is leased pennies on the dollar . How is that in the American peoples best interest . Insyrad yoh round the horses up & stock like bills for inhumane roundup & long term holding facilities. Cut down on the grazing leases , which will open up land for horses & teducnethw roundups & horses miss aim holding facilities. There is no way American will ever come out ahead with grazing leases . It’s time to end them, & or raise the fees & Lilith the areas . Only 3% of beef accounts for for those cattle on grazing leases on our public lands. Most cimenfrom feed lots .

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  11. 50:1 cows verses wild horses. It’s just not fair and it is polluting every inch that is destroyed by waste, erosion, methane air pollution. This is private land. Public land is set aside for ecology and wild life. Ranching belongs on the farm where the waste and pollution undercontrol. Not loose out if control numbers of cattle depleting our natural resources by spread waste across our prestige grasslands, purification Watershead, open waters and air unregulated and unaccountable. It’s not the 40s this is unacceptable to allow such waste and lawlessness. The destruction and permanent damage is barbaric with the use of helecopters chasing wild horse into fence and death into corrals where they break thier necks for hitting a steel rail at full force. Stop wasting our lands & taxes dollars abuse our environment. PLEASE STOP 🛑

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  12. This must end
    Beyond Barbaric
    What the Hell is wrong with Humans
    You will not stopped until you destroy everything you can
    Time to Fuckin evolve

    Like

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