Wolves can be shot on sight in most of Wyoming after state takes over management | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by as published at the Casper Star Tribune

Wyoming assumed management once again of wolves within its borders on Tuesday, and those apex predators wandering outside the northwest corner of the state can be shot on sight.

The Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., entered its final order in favor of Wyoming in a lawsuit that landed wolves back on the endangered species list in 2014. The court announced in early March that it had upheld the state’s plan but had not issued its final order.

Tuesday’s decision is what Wyoming wolf managers hope is the last legal battle in a roller-coaster legal process.

 “All indications are that this decision shows once again that Wyoming’s plan is a sound management plan,” said Brian Nesvik, chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s wildlife division. “They will remain in the hands of state management. For Wyoming this is, again, this is a time for us to celebrate. This is a good thing for Wyoming to be able to take on another wildlife resource.”

No changes were made to Wyoming’s wolf management plan from when the state oversaw the carnivores between 2012 and 2014, Nesvik said.

That means Wyoming will manage the 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation.

Wolves in 85 percent of the state are considered a predator and can be shot on sight, similar to coyotes. They are classified as a trophy animal in the northwest corner of the state and subject to fall hunting seasons. Those seasons have not yet been set, Nesvik said, adding that wolves in those areas cannot be hunted right now. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will set those seasons after a public comment period…(CONTINUED)

http://trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/wolves-can-be-shot-on-sight-in-most-of-wyoming/article_b22f00b2-cc8e-50d0-99eb-fd2b24f8608d.html

Source: Wolves can be shot on sight in most of Wyoming after state takes over management | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Cactus Fire Threatening AZ Salt River Wild Horses | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Source: Cactus Fire Threatening AZ Salt River Wild Horses | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

More Fake News in Nevada about Wild Horses | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Source: More Fake News in Nevada about Wild Horses | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

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?

BLM claims selling wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis was selling them to a “good home” | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Source: BLM claims selling wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis was selling them to a “good home” | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Wyoming opinion differs on leaked BLM talking points and expanding energy development | Energy Journal | trib.com

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 Trump administration is taking the view that increased leasing and drilling is a way to boost economic activity, he said. Another way to look at it is how increased drilling or mining can impact the supply and demand cycle, he said, echoing the concern that Merrill voiced on overproduction.

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

Source: Wyoming opinion differs on leaked BLM talking points and expanding energy development | Energy Journal | trib.com

Elk Hunting Group Wants to Expand Wolf-Killing Derby into Montana: $1,000 Bounty per Wolf | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

“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.

Idaho Wolf and Coyote Killing Derby

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)

http://www.environews.tv/040717-elk-hunting-group-wants-expand-wolf-killing-derby-montana-1000-bounty-per-wolf/

Public comment needed on Nevada mine that will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

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:

  1. Be sure to ask for the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

Email:  blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@blm.gov

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

Email: blm_NV_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@ blm.gov

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.

Economic Uncertainty

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.

Sincerely,

          

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

MAPS:

Map 1

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-1.pdf

Map 2

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-2.pdf

Map 3

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-3.pdf

Map 4

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-4.pdf

Map 5

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-5.pdf

Map 6

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-6.pdf

Map 7

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-7.pdf

Map 8

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-8-with-mining-water-drawdown-and-grazing.pdf

Source: Public comment needed on Nevada mine that will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

20 Environmental Groups Jointly Demand Wildlife Services Ban M-44 Cyanide Bombs in Idaho | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.

On March 28, 2017, a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services (WS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to immediately ban M-44 devices in Idaho. M-44s are cyanide bombs used by WS to kill local predators such as coyotes, as part of a larger taxpayer-funded wildlife eradication campaign wherein WS, on behalf of the federal government, slaughters millions of wild animals every single year.

The recent hospitalization of a youth and killing of a family dog in Idaho who encountered one of these ground weapons near their home was one motivator for the creation of this petition. The document lists many other incidents of indiscriminate pet injuries and killings by M-44s in Appendix A.

The petition specifically calls on the agencies to:

1. Cease all use of M-44 explosive cyanide devices on all land ownerships in the State of Idaho, and
2. Immediately remove any and all M-44s currently deployed on all land ownerships in Idaho.

Signage on BLM contractor’s property housing former wild horses. ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In November 2016, WS committed to cease the use of M-44s on Idaho’s public lands. Also, in 2016, a workplan between WS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Falls District forbade the placement of these devices within a quarter mile of residences.

The recent incident with the teen and his pet occurred within a quarter mile of his home. The petition concludes this incident shows the “commitment to cease using M-44s on public lands in Idaho is inadequate to protect public safety and wildlife,” because either WS personnel are not carrying out the commitment or older bombs are still present on public land.

“Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that must be banned,” Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “Any animal that might pull on the baited trigger is at risk, including endangered wildlife like Canada lynx and grizzlies, as well as people and pets. And in just the past few weeks these cruel devices have injured a child and killed an endangered wolf and several family dogs. Enough is enough.”

The petition explains:

Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.

The petition also discusses how the cyanide bombs and other non-selective killing methods are actually unproductive because they disrupt ecosystem balances, can actually increase livestock losses and have not been shown to be economically effective.

Bethany Cotton, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians, previously asserted to EnviroNews that “many ranchers peacefully coexist with coyotes and report no conflicts,” and that nonlethal predator response options include solar powered electric fencing and livestock dogs, amongst others.

“Ranchers can use less vulnerable types of livestock, hang flagging called ‘fladry,’ or actually put cowboys out there with their animals to discourage predator losses without resorting to demands for poisons and poisonous land mines that kill pets and non-target wildlife,” Erik Molvar, Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Project, told EnviroNews. He signed the petition on behalf of the coalition of environmental groups. “It is senseless and irresponsible for federal agencies to use taxpayer dollars to sow land mines and poisons in open country to kill native wildlife to prop up failing ranching operations,” he stated.

Federal law requires the petitioned agencies to provide a final decision in writing to the petitioners: Western Watersheds Project, Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife and the Mountain Lion Foundation…(CONTINUED)

http://www.environews.tv/033017-20-environmental-groups-jointly-demand-wildlife-services-ban-m-44-cyanide-bombs-idaho/

Source: 20 Environmental Groups Jointly Demand Wildlife Services Ban M-44 Cyanide Bombs in Idaho | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Fish and Wildlife may propose a horse hunt on the Navajo Nation – Navajo Times

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
A gaunt horse grazes along State Route 264 near Tse Bonito, N.M. on March 27.

WINDOW ROCK

With multiple efforts to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation, officials are considering a hunt.

The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife asked hunters and sportsmen for their support for a hunt as a potential means to reduce the number of wild horses on the Navajo Nation at the 2017 Navajo Nation Sportsman’s Expo on March 25. NNDFW staff confirmed after the conference that a proposal has not yet been completely drafted, so the department hadn’t yet anticipated details of how the possible hunt would work such as weapons to be used, number of tags to take horses, and hunt unit maps.

Department manager Gloria Tom said the department hoped to address the problem and would propose a solution to Navajo Nation governance once drafted, but also called on the hunters present to add their voices to the conversation around the feral herds and what to do about them.

“Our leaders, they really need to hear from people like you,” Tom said. “People who live out there, people who hunt.”

She said government officials sometimes take information from NNDFW as something that employees are paid to say as part of their jobs and concerns from experts who work for the government might have less impact on elected officials than the voices of their constituents and voters.

“To me, you have a greater chance of success,” she said.

She said previous attempts to trap, round up, or allow horses to be adopted had not made a large enough impact. NNDFW officials said the department is drafting a proposal to get support from Navajo Nation leaders.

“I compare this problem to our cat and dog problem,” she said.

Source: Fish and Wildlife may propose a horse hunt on the Navajo Nation – Navajo Times

Federal Bill to Ban Lethal Wildlife Poisons Introduced after Three Dogs Killed by M-44 “Cyanide Bombs,” Kids Exposed ~ Predator Defense

 

March 30, 2017 – This month three dogs were killed by M-44 “cyanide bombs” in Wyoming and Idaho. In both cases children were present and put at grave risk of poisoning. This is beyond unacceptable.

M-44s are indiscriminate sodium cyanide ejectors set by USDA Wildlife Services agents and local wildlife agencies for “predator control.” Details | Diagram There is no justifiable excuse for the use of M-44s. It is insane to set poison traps in the great outdoors.

We’ve been pressuring for an M-44 ban since 1990, collaborating with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.). We are thrilled to announce that on March 30 Rep. DeFazio introduced the legislation we’ve been working on in Congress. The bill is called H.R. 1817, “The Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2017.” It would ban both lethal M-44 sodium cyanide devices and Compound 1080, which are used unnecessarily by government wildlife agents for predator control.

What we need now is your help to get this legislation passed into law. This is a nonpartisan, public safety issue, and there honestly are no valid arguments against banning wildlife poisons. Learn how to help

Background on March M-44 events

Early in March 2017 we began working with a family in Wyoming who went out for a beautiful pre-spring walk on the prairie–one they’d taken many times before–and lost two dogs in horrifying circumstances.

We’re also spreading the word about the other devastating event in Idaho, where a 14-year-old boy in Pocatello, Idaho accidentally set off an M-44 behind his back yard and watched helplessly as his dog died an excruciating death. The boy had to be hospitalized and is being closely monitored. He and his family are devastated and outraged. Here’s what our executive director, Brooks Fahy, had to say about this case in The Oregonian:

“[The] Idaho poisoning of a dog and the near poisoning of a child is yet another example of what we’ve been saying for decades: M-44s are really nothing more than land mines waiting to go off, no matter if it’s a child, a dog, or a wolf. It’s time to ban these notoriously dangerous devices on all lands across the United States.”

On March 28, 2017, we joined a coalition of environmental and wildlife groups asking for an immediate ban on M-44s in Idaho and removal of all existing devices in the state.

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Oregon Wolf Killed by M-44, a Poison-Filled Device that Also Endangers People, Pets

 

March 2017 – Just how many animals need to die a horrible death before people realize it is insane to set poison traps in the great outdoors?

A wolf died a cruel death in Oregon on Feb. 26, 2017 because of a device set on private land by federal agents from the egregiously misnamed program within the USDA called “Wildlife Services.”

We’ve been working with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.) for decades to ban wildlife poisons like the M-44 sodium cyanide ejector. These indiscriminate devices also endanger pets and people.

M-44s are an outrage, and taxpayers fund their use. This travesty must be put to an end. And it will be if enough of us speak out and demand it. We are currently working on new legislation to ban M-44s and will keep you posted. Learn how you can help

Media Coverage

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Source: Predator Defense – a national nonprofit helping people & wildlife coexist since 1990