Idaho Rangeland Commission…Another Commercial Livestock Industry Group Formed to Create an Illusion of Lands in the West Being Taken Care of by Welfare Ranchers All While Overgrazing the Land, Destroying and Fouling Scarce Water Sources, and Killing Our Wildlife.
It seems every day I see a new group that has been created by the commercial livestock industry. These groups give themselves names that might seem to support healthy lands, healthy wildlife management, including our wild horses, and they often are a multitude of organizations that are backing the efforts of the industry.
Commercial livestock is by far the largest use of our public lands, and it is also what has damaged the most acres of those lands. This is often covered up in the media, and to the average American who doesn’t delve deep into fact-finding missions of western lands issues. The truth is, the commercial livestock industry is leading the charge to eradicate American wild horses, wolves, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, several species of raptors, and also working very hard to keep critical species like the greater sage grouse, off the endangered species list.
This big lie in the statistics Western Watersheds Project pointed out to us are these numbers listed on the Idaho Rangeland Commission website. The number of livestock appears to represent a small portion of total livestock (perhaps only Idaho) while the number of wild horses listed is not verified as a valid number of wild horses on all American lands or in the state of Idaho. Wild horse advocate Cheryl Bowe pointed out the actual numbers of wild horses in the state is a mere 470 which is well below the numbers of wild horses (617) that CAN be in Idaho per the managing agency target number (AML set by BLM).
“The Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, an organization established to promote the livestock industry, has reports the following statistics for Idaho, of which they should be quite embarrassed:
How many species call the range home?
4,000 bighorn sheep
3,000 mountain goats
So, if you value and enjoy wildlife for any of a number of reasons, and wonder why there aren’t more, now you know.” – Western Watersheds Project
“BLM Idaho manages six wild horse herd management areas on approximately 418 thousand acres. ……
The combined appropriate management level for all HMAs in the state is 617 animals……
By BLM count, there are 479 wild horses total living on Herd Management Areas in Idaho…..
FOUR MILE HMA…Population 111……
BLACK MOUNTAIN HMA……Population 40……
CHALLIS HMA……Population 225. ….
HARDTRIGGER HMA…..Population 5…….
SANDS BASIN HMA…..Population 33…….
SAYLOR CREEK HMA……Population 65.” – Wild Horse Advocate Cheryl Bowe
The thing we noticed that does fall in line with the truth of the matter is that par for the course in keeping up with normal status quo, Idaho has one wild horse per 873 acres on preserves that were created by a mandate in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act (WFRHBA). These lands were to be mapped out where the horses still survived in 1971 and the preserves created by these maps were to be managed principally for wild horses &/or burros. BLM has allowed the commercial livestock industry to twist other laws like the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) to force management of these areas for multiple uses. What is ignored in the FLPMA is the statement that also says the multiple use mandate does not override any previously passed federal land use policy (courts ruled that the WFRHBA is a federal land use policy).
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter worked hard to provide research and case law to lawyers with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) for more than a year to build a case around this and other major flaws in the past 47 years. After over a year of working with ALDF they sent us a letter saying they had developed a conflict of interest on their end and could no longer represent us. With continued blows like this, it is increasingly difficult to defend the laws that do exist to protect our wild horses, and it is disturbing when other wild horse organizations are likely the ones behind the conflict of interest in efforts to stop CAES. Why? Because they make a living on the backs of our wild ones, just like BLM, and in collusion with the commercial livestock industry. The big question is how many good organizations are going to be taken down by fake advocates, which in turn enables lies and fake organizations of the livestock industry.
What do we do? What can you do as an advocate?
WE, push on, we don’t give up, and we never take a dime in salary. YOU can do your research, read everything, not just a title or summary of something, but the entire story. Read between the lines, look at the motivation of an author or their background and ties to other people or groups. OR follow groups that are investigative and do not simply send you we did this, we did that, so send us money newsletters. We all need to fight smart, unity is sometimes is sheep being herded into a trap…
Adults are failing the math scores and in attempts to save wild horses and other critical species to keep healthy ecosystems. The WFRHBA was passed largely by a letter-writing campaign of the nation’s third-grade students. So maybe it’s time we let third-graders run the show.