The beauty, activity and sheer size of the Charleston Capitol Market are simply stunning. Take a tour of this West Virginia showplace.
Wild horse & burro advocate Bonnie Kohleriter gives her opinion below about an article in Range Magazine written by Rachel Dahl, a sixth generation Nevadan. Dahl worked as a campaign manager for the former Sen. John Ensign and served on his Senate staff by managing his Carson City office. (Sen. John Ensign later resigned after an ethics investigation.)
The Queen of Fake News in Nevada
by Bonnie Kohleriter
Rachel Dahl is a writer for the Range magazine in Nevada, a pro cattle magazine, and is a resident in Mesquite, Nevada.
Grabbing a twisted tidbit from here and a twisted bit from there, Rachel Dahl attempts to impress her readers as a journalist. Having read her winter rant in the Range magazine, I feel compelled to retort with the following comments.
As Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 2016, at the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, the Board did not vote to remove excess horses nor did it vote to sell the animals with no limitations or to euthanize the sick and the aged. The Board, on the other hand, voted to euthanize 47,000 wild horses and burros in holdings off the range.
The horses, according to Ms. Dahl, are to blame for the ruinous condition of our public lands. All hope is rested in removing them. Or is all hope rested in removing cattle from the 27 M acres where the horses only are able to be and allowing cattle to be on the other 155 M acres of our public lands where they are currently. It is understood cattle grazing on our public lands is a privilege and not a right as some ranchers want the public to believe. Then, in addition, perhaps all hope is rested in the ranchers not being allowed to divert and cut off water from the horses. Oh, horrors, Ms. Dahl, that there should be another way to look at managing our resources.
Again as Ms. Dahl reported, in the fall of 1916, the Board spent the day viewing where horses forage and viewing dead horses. The Board spent the day viewing no dead horses and viewing where horses drink. Dead horses were dramatically reported by Goicoechea who is a known horse hater and multi-generational cattle rancher. The devastated land, according to the permittee, was done when overgrazing was done by animals other than horses and burros and not by the horses themselves.
According to Ms. Dahl, Ben Masters, a member of the Board, said the viewing that day was “one of the worst disasters he had ever seen.” Ben is a young man who made a “movie” using Mustangs who were abused in the movie. It is an absurdity that Ms. Dahl should use him as a source to substantiate her argument that horses have devastated our public lands. Masters is no expert on our public lands. He is also new to the wild horse and burro issues on our public lands.
Then Ms. Dahl brought up the name of Boyd Spratling to substantiate her argument as well. Boyd Spratling had been on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and is from Elko, where the Board was currently conferring. Boyd is primarily a cattle veterinarian, represents cattlemen on the State Agricultural Board, promotes harvesting our wild horses, and presents falsified pictures to tug at the heartstrings to convince the public of those poor, poor horses on the range. But he can’t tell you where he gets his pictures and the dates they were taken. Boyd Spratling is a traitor to wild horses and burros. He does not have their best interests in mind.
Ms. Dahl sounds the alarm wild horses and burros are dying everywhere on the range and in private sanctuaries in Nevada and even in WOW! South Dakota. Wild animals die in times of environmental disaster just as humans are dying due drought and famine in Kenya, South Sudan, and Niger. Is the answer to kill them?
Ms. Dahl has pulled out all stops to degrade horses using Mrs. Pickens and Mrs. Sussman, who have taken care of wild horses, but have nothing to do with our herd management areas for wild horse and burros on our public lands. Can she find any other areas in which to attack horses or the people who have and/or care for horses. Her article is like “Let’s talk about dinner foods, now think about Cheerios.”
“Every ranch kid learns you are responsible for taking care of an animal when you take custody of them,” says Ms. Dahl. So Ms. Dahl, you are a part of the public who by law, has custody of our wild horses and burros? Are you simply going to kill them for meat because some ranchers and politicians have manipulated their allowable numbers on the range to be less than genetically viable numbers for perpetuity? Or are you going to try to come up with solutions for them to keep them on the range as healthy horses, celebrating their place on our public lands as part of our cultural, historical heritage?
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.” – Mark Twain*
by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017
On the Bureau of Land Management’s new website, on the Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program (under the Wild Horse and Burro Sales to Private Care tab), the BLM claims “It has been and remains the policy of the BLM, despite the unrestricted sales authority of the Burns Amendment, NOT to sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses or to “kill buyers.”
The BLM claims “Wild Horses and Burros Sold to Good Homes” but then includes a total of 402 wild horses and burros sold in Fiscal Year 2012. (In this 402 total, 320 were horses and 82 were burros.)
BLM sale logs obtained by us in Freedom of Information Act requests indicate that in Fiscal Year 2012, the BLM sold 239 wild horses (about 74% of the 320 horses that were sold) to kill buyer Tom Davis. Many, if not all, of these wild horses went to slaughter in Mexico.
Does this look like a “good home” to you?
BLM states it has a policy not to sell wild horses and burros to kill buyers, but:
- On 1/11/12, Lester T. Duke (BLM Burns, Oregon) sent an email to BLM’s Bea Wade, regarding 50 sale authority horses, noting that a “large portion”of the mares were “possibly pregnant.” Lester asked if they should ship to long term holding or hold them at the corrals for sale. Bea responded that she forwarded the email to Sally Spencer. After a couple of more emails regarding this, Sally finally sent email on 2/23/12 that Tom Davis would purchase the horses, starting with the load of mares from Burns, Oregon. (About a week later, BLM sold 32 horses to Tom Davis from Burns, OR. 19 of these horses were mares)
- On 4/19/12, Deanna Masterson, Public Affairs specialist for the BLM Colorado state office, sent an “Early Alert” email to “WO BLM/DOI Officials” (Jeff Krause, Leigh Espy, Helen Hankins, Steven Hall, Tom Gorey and Sally Spencer) that “The Colorado Department of Agriculture notified the BLM Colorado State Office of a Colorado Open Records request from David Phillips, a freelance journalist, for brand inspection and transfer paperwork for horses the BLM sold to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado. Phillips indicated he suspected Davis of selling these horses for slaughter to Mexico.”
- On 4/24/12, the BLM, alerted that Tom Davis was suspected of selling horses for slaughter, still sells 106 wild horses to Tom Davis.
- On 5/17/12, Sally Spencer sent out an email, marked “High” importance, to 21 people (Joe Stratton, Roger Oyler, Amy Dumas, Fran Ackley, Karen Malloy, Christopher Robbins, Jared Bybee, Robert Mitchell, Alan Shepherd, Rob Sharp, Robert Hopper, Gus Warr, June Wendlandt, Joan Guilfoyle, Mary D’Aversa, Dean Bolstadt, Jeff Krause, Tom Gorey, Debbie Collins, Lili Thomas, Bea Wade) and BLM_WO_260 WHB Communications, telling them a reporter was calling about Tom Davis. Spencer asked Joe Stratton to send out a message to all facility managers and the state leads to send a message out to all WHB Specialists that if they were asked “specifics” about a purchaser, they shouldn’t respond for privacy issues…”
If BLM personnel were so convinced that they sold the wild horses and burros to a “good home,” why all of the urgency and secrecy?
If the BLM truly believes these horses were sold to a “good home,” why isn’t Tom Davis’ photo featured on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program page on the BLM’s new website, instead of the photo of the young blonde girl? After all, the BLM sold Tom Davis 1,794 wild horses and burros from 2008-2012.
If the BLM thinks they’re fooling us, they’re only fooling themselves.
All documents referenced above can be seen HERE.
In Wyoming, where the BLM manages 17.5 million acres of public land, any changes in how the agency permits and leases land for drilling oil and gas, or digging coal, sparks debate between those seeking to do business and those who want to reserve more land for public use and conservation.
The five-point draft from the BLM lists a number of priorities for the agency, like promoting energy independence for the U.S. and developing habitat improvement projects. The majority of the bullet points concern fossil fuel development. They include streamlining the drilling application process, opening new lands for drilling and addressing a “backlog” of industry requests. E&E News obtained a copy of the document and reported on its contents April 10.
A spokeswoman for BLM said the list reflects the multi-use responsibility of the BLM but emphasized that it is not a final draft.
“While these documents are still in draft form, these talking points are being assembled by the team at the BLM to clearly lay out our continued commitment to ensure opportunities for commercial, recreation and conservation activities on BLM-managed lands,” said spokeswoman Megan Crandall in a statement. “Our multiple-use and sustained yield mission for managing public lands on behalf of all Americans supports an all-of-the-above energy plan, shared conservation through tribal, state and local partnerships, public access for recreation and other activities and keeping America’s working public landscapes healthy and productive.”
The apparent energy-first platform reflected in the agency’s talking points has been expected by both industry and environmental advocates since new leadership arrived in Washington.
The new Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, formerly a congressman from Montana, has repeatedly expressed his belief that increasing energy development on public lands can be done without harming conservation commitments.
“Let me make one thing clear: The Interior Department is in the energy business,” he said in March, after approving a $22 million coal lease in Utah. “It is my hope that working together he will help identify areas where we can expand responsible mineral development while still conserving habitat and wildlife”
Not everyone shares the secretary’s confidence that uses of public land will be balanced.
“The bullet points for the conservation stewardship section are incredibly minimal,” said Chris Merrill, director of the Wyoming Outdoor Council.
One priority laid out is to increase volunteerism. Another professes to develop priority habitat plans, which pleased Merrill. There is no specific mention of issues like sage grouse, which has dominated habitat conservation goals on public land in places like Wyoming.
“In a larger sense, the protection of habitat should be a key priority for the foreseeable future,” Merrill said. “When it comes to wildlife, habitat is everything … not just improvement projects, but protecting the habitat we already have, and it doesn’t seem to be in this document.”
Merrill takes issue with the energy aims, and the attitude that there is an overwhelming backlog of requests to drill.
“The first thing that struck me is that [the talking points] seem to ignore the reality of energy markets,” he said. “The reason, for example, that the price of natural gas plummeted is we have a glut on the market. It’s not as if there is this huge desire on the part of energy companies to be drilling more. They have so many leases that they could be drilling. They are not because of market decisions, not because of anything the BLM is doing.”
Yet the idea of streamlining processes for drilling or for permitting could be viewed as simple “good housekeeping,” said Charles Mason, an economist at the University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy.
“I don’t know how you are going to make a compelling case for retaining or reinforcing (bureaucratic) frictions of that sort,” he said of the BLM’s plan to increase efficiency.
From an economic standpoint, however, the list reflects a shortsighted outlook on how to deal with federal mineral resources, he said.
The government is a proxy agent handling public assets, and their end goal should be getting as much of a return on federal minerals as possible, Mason said.
“The question for me becomes, are we doing the right thing in facilitating the acquisition of maximum dollars?” he asked. “Do we make that happen by dumping a lot of that stuff on the market at the same time?”
Yet, there are some in Wyoming waiting for an open door from federal regulators, and the talking points speak directly to their hopes. Many in industry believe federal agencies had marching orders from the Obama administration to inhibit energy expansion by increasing red tape.
The good housekeeping, described by Mason, the UW economist, would potentially decrease the time it takes to process expressions of intent, the first step operators make when scoping federal land for potential drilling.
It’s imperative to streamline that process in Wyoming, said Steve Degenfelder of Casper-based Kirkwood Resources.
“It currently takes 1.5 years, BLM will say 56 weeks minimum, from receipt of the EOI to those lands being offered at an auction,” he said in an email. “The time period should be less than 3 months. Conducting such a thorough analysis on leases just being offered for sale has resulted, as the industry predicted, [in] a scheme to reduce the number of acres being offered for sale.”
By the time the paperwork is filed, some operators have moved on and given up on the tracts altogether, eliminating that potential state and federal revenue, Degenfelder added.
Applications for permits to drill are similarly backlogged, while federal fees have skyrocketed, he said.
The BLM’s first lease sale in 2017, one of four that take place per year, sold more than half the amount of acreage sold in all of 2015. Oil and gas operators were ecstatic at what they hope is a new direction for federal leasing in Wyoming.
If the trend is toward development, it’s a directional change that industry has been waiting for.
Thought the U.S. experienced a historic drilling boom under Obama, including on federal land, the on-the-ground experience in the last eight years has been one of frustration for people like Degenfelder.
Now, BLM’s steps are being closely watched by competing interests, with both sides concerned about whose political influence will be the strongest.
“My biggest fear is that the more environmentally acceptable points of the agenda will be followed first, and those dealing with oil, gas and coal will take a back seat,” said Degenfelder.
Land advocates like Merrill fear the reverse.
“There is a need to strike a balance and that means allowing for development in some places where it make sense and not allowing for it in other places where the other values are so important that they should be protected,” he said.
If the leaked draft is a fair sign of where the public land management agency’s is going in the next four years, then a friendlier environment for oil, gas and coal developers may be at hand. The impact on environmental agendas, however, is less clear.
Follow energy reporter Heather Richards on Twitter @hroxaner
The Easter Bunny’s “Horse Cousin”
They look like BIG bunnies but we can attest that they are pure genus equus – meet the Poitou donkey.
Poitou donkeys originated in southern France, developed from donkeys imported from ancient Rome. They are the largest donkey breed historically used as breeding stock to produce working mules. Their coats are dark brown and black, they have white underbelly, nose and rings around their eyes. They have large features – heads, leg joints and ears. Some ears are so large that their weight causes they to flop sideways. The Poitou’s most distinctive feature is their matted coat, hanging cords of soft hair called a “cadanette”.
Poitou donkeys became status symbols of the wealthy during the middle ages – the shaggier the coat, the more highly valued the animal. By the 18th century the breed’s characteristics were well defined and a studbook was established. As many as 15,000 were sold annually. By the next century mechanization (and war) obliterated the breed. By 1977 only 44 donkeys survived and the mortality rate for foals was nearly 30%. Public and private breeders joined forces to save the Poitou. The studbook, abandoned for nearly a century was reestablished and split between pure and part breds. By 2005 there were 450 registered purebreds.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists the Poitou as Critical, a category for breeds with less than 2,000 animals worldwide. Science has certainly impacted efforts to save the breed. In 2001 Australian scientists implanted a Poitou embryo in a Standardbred mare resulting in a healthy birth. More recently, establishment of a sperm bank coupled with improved means for artificial insemination using the frozen semen has helped conservation efforts on a global scale.
“Here at SFTH and at WHFF it is obvious that our attention is upon the future well being of equines, both wild and domestic, but by no means do we cast a blind eye to other wild American species under attack. Be it Bison, coyote, cougar or in this case the majestic wolf; we are 100% committed to the belief that Mother Nature is much better suited to manage wildlife than the bumbling, brutal and misguided efforts of man.”~ R.T.
“These wolf lottery efforts are dismantling a century-long conservation heritage that is shared not just with environmental groups but with a lot of sportsmen groups as well,”
(EnviroNews Montana) — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), which has funded wolf-killing derbies in Idaho to the tune of $150,000 since 2013, is now seeking to expand its $1,000-per-kill bounty program to the neighboring state of Montana.
RMEF provides funds to the Foundation for Wildlife Management (F4WM), which says its mission “is to promote ungulate population recovery in areas negatively impacted by wolves.” While F4WM is based in Idaho, RMEF is stationed in Montana. F4WM held a meeting on April 5 in Sandpoint, Idaho, in an attempt to drum up support for the expanded bounty program. On April 6, Justin Webb, Mission Advancement Director for F4WM, wrote on the group’s Facebook page, “We had several folks from Montana expressing interest in F4WM expanding into Montana, and all were willing to help create Montana funding!”
Webb cautioned however, that it might take some time to determine if F4WM will go ahead with the effort. “[We] should be able to announce yay or nay on an F4WM expansion into Montana within a couple weeks. We have some business operational hurdles to work through, and fine tuning the legistics [sic] of the expansion.”
“These wolf lottery efforts are dismantling a century-long conservation heritage that is shared not just with environmental groups but with a lot of sportsmen groups as well,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director for the Western Watersheds Project, in an exclusive interview with EnviroNews.
F4WM’s sole sponsor is RMEF. The group published an open letter to President Donald Trump on its website, calling the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and Idaho “illegal” and telling the President that this “was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.”
In 2012, Montana elk hunter Dave Stalling wrote in an op-ed for High Country News about what he described as the RMEF’s “all-out war against wolves.” Stalling worked previously for RMEF and saw changes that he linked to the hiring of David Allen as its director. Today, Allen is President and Chief Executive Officer at RMEF. Allen has supported the delisting of wolves as an endangered species in both Wyoming and Oregon.
“This is an organization that has always been at the fringes of the conservation movement,” said Molvar. “Basically, they are really anti-conservationists in disguise.”
In Idaho, the Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), which regulates hunting in the state, is beset with a funding scandal. An op-ed authored by local hunter Dave Cappell in the January 14, 2017 Idaho State Journal, alleges that two IDFG commissioners were told their terms would not be renewed so that new commissioners, who would approve a system of auction tags for game hunters, could be appointed…(CONTINUED)
This map shows the Gold Bar Mine area, the approximate HMA (in solid red) and HA boundaries(in broken red lines), the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field, and the approximate combined Gold Bar Mine and Mt. Hope Mine 10′ water drawdown area (in blue). The 10′ water drawdown (in blue) effects almost the entire Roberts Mountain HMA. The 1″ water drawdown will effect a much larger area. (Streams can dry up with as little as a 1′ water drawdown.)
BE SURE TO LOOK AT ALL 8 MAPS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE.
It’s best to write comments in your own words so that the BLM counts each comment as one, instead of counting a thousand similar comments/form letter as only one. You can read the joint comments submitted by Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation below, and a quick summary on pages 5-41 of the DEIS HERE. Comments are due by April 17, 2017.
Some suggested talking points are:
- Be sure to ask for the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
- The Gold Bar mine project will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years. The BLM needs to take into consideration past (historic), current and likely future droughts and climate change when deciding if they will approve this DEIS.
- The Project will negatively impact the water, forage, safety, and “free-roaming” abilities of the Roberts Mountain wild horse herd on the Roberts Mountain HMA, as well as the nearby wild horse herds on Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.
- The BLM is minimizing the area of impact by only indicating the 10′ water drawdown, and not the 5′ or 1′ water drawdown. The 5′ and 1′ water drawdown will cover a much larger area of land. A stream can dry up with as little as 1′ of water drawdown.
- When the nearby Mt. Hope mine becomes operational, it is proposed that it will use an additional 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years). Mt. Hope mine will use over 3 1/2 billion gallons of water per year and over 36 billion gallons of water in 10 years.
- The BLM refers to the Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4). These are 25 years old and outdated. Ask for updates of this Plan and Handbook for this DEIS.
- The area of Gold Bar Mine will be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, creating more environmental degradation.
The DEIS is available online at HERE. Interested individuals should address all written comments to Christine Gabriel, Project Manager, using any of the following ways:
Fax: (775) 635-4034
Mail: Bureau of Land Management
Mount Lewis Field Office
50 Bastian Road
Battle Mountain, NV 89820
Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation submitted these joint comments regarding the BLM’s Gold Bar Mine Project:
Bureau of Land Management
Mount Lewis Field Office
50 Bastian Road
Battle Mountain, NV 89820
DATE: April 5, 2017
Subject: DEIS MMI Gold Bar Mine Project
Dear Ms. Gabriel:
On behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), 501(c)3 non-profit corporations, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout the United States, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit scoping comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for McEwen Mining Inc.’s (MMI) Gold Bar Mine Project (Project).
TCF, a wild horse and burro advocacy group and an advocacy group for all wildlife on our public lands in the West, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, a voice for the protection of wild horses and burros and public lands, strongly oppose the expansion of the Gold Bar mining project and we urge the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE in this DEIS for the following reasons:
Wild Horse Herds To Be Affected:
The Project will negatively impact the Roberts Mountain Wild Horse Herd as well as the nearby herds of Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.
Sage Grouse Habitat Affected:
Not only wild horses will be affected in this area. All wildlife will suffer.
Open pit mining is the most environmentally destructive type of mining anywhere. Extreme weather events can overwhelm all mandated precautions, threatening migratory birds and small mammals. In the case of a flood, even large mammals like wild horses risk exposure to potentially lethal mining waste.
Direct habitat damage due to mining plus further fragmentation by roads and large equipment traveling on these roads will eliminate hopes for the recovery of the Greater Sage Grouse in this area. The transport process in itself is dangerous—accidents, dust, spread of contaminants, noise, etc.
Greater Sage Grouse were once so numerous that the “sky was black” with these large birds, according to Ginger Kathrens’ late Uncle, Allan Ralston, who spoke of this area after his return from WWII. Now the birds are threatened and a species of critical environmental concern. BLM should prioritize these risks.
Impacts on Water Sources:
Per the Gold Bar DEIS, page 4-147, under 2 different scenarios, the mine will either pump 380 gpm (gallons per minute) or 500 gpm (gallons per minute).
If the mine pumps 380 gpm, this equals 22,800 gallons per hour, 547,200 gallons per day, and 199,728,000 gallons per year. Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 billion gallons of water.
If the mine pumps 500 gpm, this equals 30,000 gallons per hour, 720,000 gallons per day, and 262,800,000 gallons per year. Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 1/2 billion gallons of water.
This does not include the water which the Mt. Hope mine will use once mining begins. Mt. Hope is projected to use 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).
The project will deplete surface and ground water resulting in the drying up of ephemeral streams. Reducing water tables to dangerously low levels will negatively impact perennial streams. This DEIS minimizes the impact on water resources by not providing 5’ or 1’ water drawdown maps and thus minimizing the additional area of land that will be effected. A stream can dry up with as little as 1’ of water drawdown.
Maps created by Wild Horse Freedom Federation are included in the Appendix.
Map 1 – (Figure 4.23-11 of DEIS) Gold Bar Mine Wild Horse CESA (Cumulative Effects Study Area). On page 4-265 of the DEIS, it states “The CESA for the wild horses and burros includes Roberts Mountain, Whistler Mountain, and portions of the Fish Creek HMAs, as well as Kobeh Valley and Roberts Mountain HAs where wild horses existed based on past inventories, and where they could be potentially affected by the Project…”
Map 2 – shows the addition of the approximate 10′ water drawdown area – (Figure 4.19-3 of Gold Bar Mine Project), 500 gpm (gallons per minute) for 10 years.
Map 3 – shows the addition of the approximate HMA and HA boundaries.
Map 4 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field – (Figure 3.13.1 Mt. Hope Project EIS).
Map 5 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine 10″ water drawdown area – (Figure 3.2.18 Mt Hope Project EIS).
Map 6 – shows approximate sketch of Gold Bar Mine and Mt Hope Mine with HMA and HA boundaries
Map 7 – shows approximate HMA boundaries over grazing allotments map – (Figure 3.7 – 1, Gold Bar Mine EIS)
Map 8 – shows approximate mining, water drawdown, and grazing with the HMA and HA boundaries.
BLM writes in their description of the Roberts Mountain HMA: Water availability is a key influence to wild horse use during summer months. Wild horses will generally travel much farther to water than will livestock. In many HMAs water sources are plentiful and supplied by perennial streams, springs, and human constructed water developments such as livestock water tanks and ponds. In other cases, water sources are limiting, and in drought years, wild horses may have difficulty accessing sufficient water, (emphasis added) especially if the population exceeds the Appropriate Management Level (AML). In these cases, wild horse distribution is closely tied to the location of the available waters, which becomes very important to the health of the herd.
Drought Ridden Region
Drought is common in this driest state in the Union. Emergency removals of wild horses because of the lack of water are common. Removals of 14 wild horse herds occurred in 2009 south of Ely by BLM. The Agency cited the lack of reliable water sources as the reason for the removal of wild horses on 1.4 million acres of public land.
The proposed expansion and creation of more water dependent, extractive uses of the land is irresponsible.
Outdated Plan and Manual
This DEIS is based, in part, on a plan and a manual that are each about 25 years old and outdated. We are referring to the BLM Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4). We ask that you review these outdated materials and update them if you are going to base any part of this DEIS on these outdated plans.
The potential for failure of this project is so high that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states: . . .in addition to greater uncertainty as to the economic feasibility of Mineralized Material compared to proven and probable reserves, there is also greater uncertainty as to the existence of Mineralized Material. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that measured or indicated resources will be converted into economically mineable reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources.
Couple the above with the failure of the previous mine developers, Atlas Corporation, who filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.
Wide Scale Damage
McEwen Mining, a Canadian Mining company, is poised to take over and create even more environmental degradation. The area would be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, or about 1/3 the size of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area where TCF is headquartered. In other words, this is destruction on a grand scale.
Damage from gold mining is permanent. No amount of mitigation can return the landscape to anything approaching a natural state. Over flights of the area reveal large-scale destruction. Increasing this permanent destruction for the hope of short-term gain is not a reasonable, and certainly not an environmentally friendly decision.
For the above reasons, we urge you to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE for the Gold Bar Mine Project.
Thanks very much for your consideration of our position on this important issue.
Ginger Kathrens Debbie Coffey
Executive Director, Vice-President,
The Cloud Foundation, Inc. Wild Horse Freedom Federation
107 S. 7th Street P.O. Box 390
Colorado Springs, CO 80905 Pinehurst, TX 77362
Join Corinna Wood for the Wise Woman Herbal Immersion ~ May 22-27, 2016, near Asheville, NC. An inspirational journey into herbal medicine, nourishment, and self-love.