Jan Swan Wood: Comments needed on eco-sanctuary, BLM horse crisis, fast time at San Anton | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Comments needed on eco-sanctuary, BLM horse crisis, fast time at San Anton

The nice weather was sure good while it lasted. Now that we're back to normal temps though, it's easier to get around to feed. The mud was pretty deep at our place and leaving ruts makes for rough travel when it freezes up again. Thank God we have so much moisture though. The far west in general is still so dry. Talked to a friend in southeastern New Mexico who says they haven't had measurable precipitation in five years and the country is just blowing away. The moisture that California and Nevada have received is encouraging but not a problem solver.

King Obama went to California to tour the drought stricken land last week. I'll bet the farmers and ranchers were relieved to have him come and share his expertise with them. Maybe an ex-lawyer/city planner is just what it would take to fix everything there. What they need is rain, not more fertilizer.

If you care to comment on the "Eco-Sanctuary" being proposed on land seven miles north of Lander, Wyo.,, you have until March 4 to do so. My recollection of the country north of Lander is that of high desert, short grass country that is prone to long spells of not enough rain and too much wind. This proposed "sanctuary" would run 250 of the BLM's feral horses on 900 acres. That is just not sustainable. It wouldn't be anywhere in the west. You can learn more about this proposal by going to this ridiculously titled site http://www.blm/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/lfo/ecosanctuary.html. (nothing is simple when the government creates it) or call Scott Fluer at 307-332-8400 (he's the Lander BLM guy in charge of Wild Horses). To comment email them to BLM_WY_Lander_Ecosanctuary_EA@blm.gov. You can mail your written comments to Scott Fluer, Wild Horse Specialist, BLM Lander Field Office, 1335 Main St., Lander, WY 82520. Be polite and direct with your comments and stick to the subject at hand, please.

A Federal Agencies advisory board in Nevada has agreed to encourage BLM to gather and sell excess horses as an emergency response to the ongoing drought situation. The recommendation was passed by the BLM Nevada's three resource advisory councils that met last week in Elko, Nev.. The R.A.C. also supports gathers that would have unconditional sales of the horses (no paperwork preventing the horses from going to slaughter). In December, the Nevada Association of Counties filed suit against the federal government on grounds that its wild horse management practices were detrimental to the land, land users, and horses. The lawsuit argues that an amendment to the Wild Horse and Burro Act already authorizes BLM to sell horses to slaughter. That has never happened, but, it is legal to do so, so RAC is in the right to state that as an option.

The 'anti-s' are so against the feral horses being gathered for any reason that they have thrown up road block after road block in the judicial front to prevent gathers. Meanwhile, the horses are dying from starvation and thirst and the country they run on is being destroyed. The activists protest loudly about any possibility of their beloved horses being sold to slaughter, but none of them want to put forth the cash to buy them at auction if they are. Kind of odd, huh? All the activists will support is fertility treatment for the horses. Well, they'll still starve to death but they won't reproduce in the process. In case you forgot, the patent on the drug used for birth control in the horses is owned by HSUS. What a coincidence. Plus, they'd have to be gathered anyway to give them the drug.

On the subject of horse slaughter, just because there is no funding provided for USDA inspectors in plants at this time, that restriction expires on Sept. 30. There's a lot of work being done in congress to reinstate the funding with some tough Congressmen from Oklahoma and Missouri in the forefront. Keep putting pressure on your reps so that they know how imperative it is to reinstate the funding. With the western drought decimating whole states, the plight of the horse is getting dramatically worse each day.

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I need to get on a brighter note here. Tim Sparing of Helena, Mont., broke the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo arena record with a smoking 3.0 steer wrestling run. That doesn't even seem possible! He's kind of a new face in prorodeo and he sure put his state on the map with that run!

I'm going to call this my circle for the week. If you want to send me some items of interest and upcoming events, that would be great, otherwise you're probably going to get another earful of BLM horses and governmental boondoggles!

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