NCBA says BLM bowed to pressure

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is criticizing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for backing off on its plan to gather and spay wild horses on federal lands in western Wyoming.

NCBA accuses BLM of caving in to animal rights groups.

The controversy involves BLM’s plan to round up around one-thousand wild horses in western Wyoming, remove about 700 through adoption, sales or relocation, and then geld or spay the 300 remaining horses.  

This would have been the BLM’s first attempt to spay wild horses and return them to their herd. Previously, the agency has used a contraceptive vaccine—which is not permanent—on the wild horse mares.

BLM officials now say they don’t have enough time to prepare for the spaying ahead of the roundup set for mid-August.  So they will just geld the males and the mares will be returned to the range as is.

The director of federal lands for NCBA, Dustin Van Liew, who is also executive director of the Public Lands Council, says the decision affects the entire livestock industry—and not just in the West, but across the entire country.

“It’s another example of the current administration making a final decision based on sound science and public input, and then blowing to pressure from an outside group—and completely reversing a decision based only that pressure and possible threat of litigation,” says Van Liew.

Some groups objected to the BLM’s fertility control plan, contending the spaying procedure is risky and very traumatic for the mares. 

“It’s unclear at this time who the groups are,” says Van Liew. “However, there are various groups across the West that are always at the forefront when these issues are pulled back.”


© Copyright Brownfield, All rights Reserved. Written For: Brownfield

Comments

  1. Marge says:

    For years, it has been the all-too-easy custom for established interests to “scapegoat,” or lay the blame, for overgrazing, erosion, threats to native species, and other ecological abuses upon wild horses or burros wherever they occur, by magnifying their impacts out of proportion – all the while conveniently ignoring mankind’s own enormously destructive traditions, particularly livestock grazing, predator elimination, open pit mines.

    The American Mustang is a native wildlife species; few people realize that the western United States is actually the evolutionary birthplace of the horse. In accordance with the laws of Congress, this majestic species is protected as wild and free-roaming, safe from illegal interference by the BLM and immune to the pressures of the livestock industry and other commercial interests that wish to exploit our public lands.”

    Why doesn’t the BLM just come out and tell the truth?

    I mean, why dont they publicly state: “We dont care about wild horses and burros. We will continue to eradicate them in favor of the ranchers and extractive industries. Our goal is extinction, by any means, and as quickly as possible” Instead they continue to try and give the impression that they give a crap, by soliciting public input, which is inevitably dismissed and ignored.

  2. SICK SICK SICK, Cattle do not belong on our Public lands and EVERYONE knows (if they don’t they will now) that cattle DESTROY the lands 100 x more than horses!

    The American people are finally coming together with one voice, this is AMERICA AND HERE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE RUN THIS COUNTRY NOT WASHINGTON D.C. OR THE NBCA/Ken Salazar!

    STAND UP AMERICA AND DEMAND THEY LEAVE OUR HORSES ALONE!!!!!!!!!

  3. Janet Schultz says:

    Let’s see, in 1880 when records were first kept, the public lands supported 22 million cattle. In 1930, when the Taylor Grazing Act was implemented as a permit system – the land could only support 10 million cattle and by then sheep had made an appearance. The range had been irreparably damaged and denuded of native grasses. The Taylor Grazing Act was overseen by The Grazing Serv ice (now known as Bureau of Land Management). Divvying up land that had lost its power to support grazing animals in such numbers, ranchers who numbered in a few ten thousand, took control by their secret ballot (through groups called “advisory boards” (sound familiar?)) to decide who grazed where and how many. Horses were then as now, run until their hooves fell off, they broke their legs, or died of burst lungs to clear them off the land. Nothing much has changed.

    Now we have a situation that the wild horses and burros, given the protection of the American people (signed into law by President Nixon no less in December 1971) are continuously stymied in that umbrella by this very same small group of animal traders as who originally ruined the ranges. The fact is, those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

    The BLM was backed off. You are right about that. And I have to say it was not some mysterious group or groups that keep showing up at these decision making events – it is a huge group of individual patriotic Americans who love this land (whether they live in a tent, a mansion, apartment or house – with land or without it) – our sons and daughters fight for every bit of it – it is OURS. BLM better listen – heck, you ALL work for us! Never forget how ingenious Yankees are.

    And I have to ask, what kind of terrible person would then advocate field surgery on wild horses. What sick mind accepts that as a humane solution. One day when our Lord returns, the legend reads He will be riding a white horse. Try to be kind Mr. Van Liew – it might work in your favor one day.

  4. Lisa LeBlanc says:

    Not every cattleman runs his stock on Federal land. There are plain, un-entitled hard working families who run small herds on their own land – no subsidies, no ‘improvements’, no Federal predator control – who speaks for these guys?
    I speak for Wild Horses and Burros; I stand with a buncha men and women who don’t find compassion for these animals a character flaw but who view the word (and attitude) ‘entitlement’ as one of the 7 Deadly Sins.
    ‘Unclear’, Mr. Van Liew? ME. I’m one of those ‘groups’ who seriously resent the Bureau believing they can use MY (Taxpayer!) animals as science experiments when they can’t even give me a verifiable, straight answer on how many are truly out there – because they ‘estimate’ these herds from the comfort of their computer screens.
    Now, small scale ranchers may not approve of or appreciate my admiration, and that’s fine. But I’d rather be smacked down by a fella who knows what hard work is than a spoiled brat who has everything handed to him on my dime.

  5. Lethie says:

    (The director of federal lands for NCBA, Dustin Van Liew, who is also executive director of the Public Lands Council, says the decision affects the entire livestock industry—and not just in the West, but across the entire country.)????????????????????????

    I think there is a conflict of interest here too about Mr. Van Liew. Gimmie a break. The spaying of the mares was a terrible decision in the first place. Even the BLM’s own vet said this. Spaying in the field…. Also the males horses getting gelded in the field in also a bad decision. Lots of Suffering is in store for them. I’m so glad someone listed to the PEOPLE for not spaying the females. However, we should be preserving these horses and their land. OUR Land, (Public Land).

    Wild horses could be a positive thing if only they were protected and the public could pay to see them in their natural habitat. I know I would pay to see them and so would our kids, and our grand kids. Put the focus on that issue…………….. Keeping them in holding pens for years and years does not make sense either. I think we the tax payers can put our heads together and try to and save money instead of spending money to pay BLM to gather them up in the first place. Speak Up America before it is to late.

  6. Melissa Ohlsson says:

    WHOA there… the NCBA is just ticked-off because the BLM didn’t cave to them… boo hoo, wah wah, sob sob, sniff!

    It’s probably hard for them to understand after so many BLM decisions being made in their favor. Show me the report based on BLM’s sound science, (like THAT exists!) that proves spaying mares was an acceptable option. While you’re at it, show me a print-out of the public’s input that says so. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an animal rights advocate, a cattle owner or everyday, hard-working folks, the idea of spaying wild mares, in the field no less, is a ridiculous, unrealistic, sadistic and just plain bad idea.

    There aren’t too many wild horses, there are only wild horses in the way. (BTW, wild horse populations have NEVER doubled every 2 years… that’s BLM/NCBA generated, made-for-media-release-to-the-public propaganda) There is plenty of room on America’s public lands for our nations symbols of freedom, America’s Wild Horses, cattle, (that do not benefit the public in any way) and Big Energy projects to co-exist. The NCBA needs to accept that public lands don’t belong to them. Americans feel that wild horse survival is more important than cattle grazing rights… higher a priority than Big Energy projects… deal with it.

    It’s not unclear who the outside groups are… the NCBA simply doesn’t want to acknowledge that those “various groups” are speaking louder and being heard over their highly paid lobbyists. Decisions favoring the will of the people are being made. This is as it should be… what’s the NCBA’s ‘beef’ with that?

    Melissa Ohlsson

    Vice President

    America’s Wild Horse Advocates

    Las Vegas, NV.

  7. Anne Novak says:

    The American West is on the verge of changing forever. . . First the horses are removed, then the livestock is removed–to be replaced by the extractive industry–pillaging public lands so America’s ‘New Energy Frontier’ can rank number 1 worldwide.

    Is this what you want? If not then let’s work together to create solutions.

  8. Tommy Lee says:

    Hmm if I can remember correctly the National Beef raisers are afilated with the South Western Cattle Raiser’s Association which were paid $3.00 per horse head slaughtered in Texas.. These people need to grow up and stop trying to milk the American Tax payer for their own profits. They pay very little to nothing to put cattle on our American wild lands. Its our Land NOT yours….

  9. vicki says:

    Exactly what did the NCBA hope to gain by letting everyone know that they are not grateful for the welfare they receive from the government but want more? They have been on the public dole for so long, it is now an entitlement.

    There is NO animal rights group. It is individual taxpayers that are appalled or should I say furious with the arrogance of the NCBA. Their deeps pockets are no match for any of the animal welfare groups. One only has to look at the genocide of America’s wild horses and burros. Over 2 million roaming free in the early 1900s and now, less than 16,000 remain. You got your way, they’re almost gone now.

    And then they have the nerve to complain about the $70M it is costing to warehouse horses that never should have been removed. It is time for taxpayers to start complaining loudly about the hundreds of millions it is costing them to subsidize the welfare ranchers on public land.

    I truly feel sorry for the local ranchers that are struggling to make ends meet and then have to listen to the welfare ranchers that are getting a free ride.

    Beware public ranchers because we know it isn’t only you that are pushing out the horses. Mining and energy interests are also responsible and taking over more and more land. Your livestock will be next and you will be where we are now trying to save the last of the wild horses and burros. And don’t expect any sympathy or help from any of us. And when your grandchildren ask you what happened to all the wild horses and why you didn’t do anything to save them, we’d love to hear what you’ll tell them.

  10. Kate Dougherty says:

    “The Obama administration this week rejected a proposal that would have raised the price ranchers pay to graze livestock on public land. The decision “suggests ranchers will continue to be charged below-market prices to graze cattle on federal rangelands,” And that was January 20, 2011.

    Wah, wah, wah! Cattlemen pay $1.35 per cow and calf per MONTH on public land.

    Mustang in CAPTIVITY costs. $1.30 Per DAY,, not including foal. and $5.50 per DAY in short term holding. As a taxpayer, I am furious that even one mustang is in captivity, especially after listening to these arrogant cattlemen whine. It is NOT the 1800s anymore and that is our land, not yours.

  11. Dr. C. Stone says:

    BLM caved to pressure? Don’t you mean that BLM paid attention to the majority of the citizens rather than cater to a small special interest group? [I Quote Rachel' words here]
    Should we say, “Awwwwww….poor poor welfare ranchers!” To you?
    You’ve Got to be Kidding me?! How DARE you Cattlemen !!–
    WHINING, Whining, Mooing….because You did not get
    All of your paid-lobbyist Demands…for once??
    (And “this decision” Still allows the PROVEN corrupt BLM &
    Dept of Interior to INHUMANELY round-up, torture,
    Incarcerate, + Geld adult Free Horses…to extinction!)
    How Dare You?— COME to WV! We have lots &
    Lots of Grass! (and cows)!! *the Difference* IS:
    Here in my state, You have to Buy*, (that means PAY for*, to you
    Who have no concept), + Maintain*, + pay Tax* on –
    that Grass !! -just like Our farmers do!! So Come on!
    OR you could Move to Europe, or some less-settled
    3rd world Country?–where there is plenty of plant growth +
    Few, if any, environmental laws, OR even the right to
    Protest gov’t, or local, or tribal Actions?! (These sound Much more
    Suitable for you NCA’s). Otherwise, stop whining!
    That is NOT Your land! (It’s Mine!+ all citizens’!) It is NOT
    Your personal entitlement!to make a $ off My back, without
    Paying your “investors”! It is NOT your decision! (It’s Mine, with the
    Voice of every American)!
    I Agree with above words of Athena, KarenR, Rachel, Velma,
    Elizabeth, Honor, especially Beth, +others !!
    This “decision”, like every BLM/DoI one, was Not based on
    Science! It is based on GREED (whether personal $ or PR$ for election)!!
    Funny thing is: you “ranchers-on Public lands” had Better WAKE-UP ! Because–the
    BLM & DoI are Not intent on Helping or Standing-up
    For You either!!—U Are Next!–& you will Lose it all- to
    More Greedy & powerful Energy & Mineral exploiters !!
    “They” only “appear” 2 be on your side, While they still have
    Need of your paid-lobbyists! Then, You are also “toast”, just like the extinct
    Horses, burros, mtn lions, bison, wolves, bears, elk, birds, etc
    Before You! WHY can’t you take time to See that ??

  12. carrol abel says:

    Let’s see now. The decision not to perform a dangerous surgery on about 100 mares will effect the entire livestock industry across the nation? Gimme a break ! Maybe it effects NCBA egos across the nation, nothing more.

    The BLM didn’t cave to pressure from the livestock industry this time. Good for them. This time they may have caved to pressure from animal advocacy groups or they may have actually considered the dangers of spaying mares on the open range.

    Lighten up Mr. Van Liew – you’re showing your not-so-hidden agenda.

  13. Dr. C. Stone says:

    BLM caved to pressure? Don’t you mean that BLM paid attention to the majority of the citizens rather than cater to a small special interest group? [I Quote Rachel' words here]
    Should we say, “Awwwwww….poor poor welfare ranchers!” To you?
    You’ve Got to be Kidding me?! How DARE you Cattlemen !!–
    WHINING, Whining, Mooing….because You did not get
    Each of your paid-lobbyist Demands…for once??
    (And “this decision” Still allows the PROVEN corrupt BLM &
    Dept of Interior to INHUMANELY round-up, torture,
    Incarcerate, + Geld adult Free Horses…to extinction!)
    ** How Dare You?— * COME to WV! We have lots &
    Lots of Grass! (and cows)!! *the Difference* IS:
    Here in my state, You have to Buy*, (that means PAY for*, to you
    Who have no concept), + Maintain*, + pay Tax* on –
    that Grass !! -just like Our farmers do!! So Come on!
    OR you could Move to Europe, or some less-settled
    3rd world Country?–where there is plenty of plant growth +
    Few, if any, environmental laws, OR even the right to
    Protest gov’t, or local, or tribal Actions?! (These sound Much more
    Suitable for you NCA’s). Otherwise, stop whining!
    That is NOT Your land! (It’s Mine!+ all citizens’!) It is NOT
    Your personal entitlement!to make a $ off My back, without
    Paying your “investors”! It is NOT your decision! (It’s Mine, with the
    Voice of every American)!
    I Agree with above words of Athena, KarenR, Rachel, Velma,
    Elizabeth, Honor, especially Beth, +others !!
    This “decision”, like every BLM/DoI one, was Not based on
    Science! It is based on GREED (whether personal $ or PR$ for election)!!
    Funny thing is: you “ranchers-on Public lands” had Better WAKE-UP ! Because–the
    BLM & DoI are Not intent on Helping or Standing-up
    For You either!!—U Are Next!–& you will Lose it all- to
    More Greedy & powerful Energy & Mineral exploiters !!
    “They” only “appear” 2 be on your side, While they still have
    Need of your paid-lobbyists! Then, You are also “toast”, just like the extinct
    Horses, burros, mtn lions, bison, wolves, bears, elk, birds, etc
    Before You! WHY can’t you take time to See that ??

  14. Melissa Ohlsson says:

    Here’s a little-known fact about cattle grazing on public lands: Less than 2% of the privately-owned cattle grazing on 90% of our public lands are used for table beef. These cows exist for one purpose… to qualify their corporate owners for government grazing subsidies funded by the tax-paying citizens of America. That’s right, taxpayers are slammed with a triple-whammy… #1 Our taxes fund the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program… the money is used to hire privately-owned helicopter companies (at $1 million per round up) to “gather” these “federally protected” horses from their Herd Management Areas (HMA’s) Another privately-owned company is hired to transport thousands of wild horses to privately-owned, government-contracted holding facilities on privately-owned land (also paid for with our tax dollars) #2 More tax money is then spent to feed the 40,000 + horses and burros, but little goes into the highly-touted, yet largely unsuccessful, BLM adoption program. #3 Once the public land is cleared of wild horses, it is converted into grazing allotments so more range destroying, privately-owned cattle can graze and destroy it for a mere $1.35 per cow/calf pair a month. There are now less than 20,000 wild horses left in the U.S., most of which are in Nevada. The BLM plans to round up 12,000 of those horses by the end of this year. The American people are truly grateful that the BLM has abandoned their plan to spay the mares as there aren’t enough horses left to sustain genetic viability within the herds… in other words, the BLM plans to manage America’s wild horse population to extinction and use OUR money to do it!

    Melissa Ohlsson
    Vice President
    America’s Wild Horse Advocates
    Las Vegas, NV.

  15. Rachel Reeves says:

    I would like to please respond to a comment by Athena Coroneos above. I agree that the employees of the BLM in Wyoming are all quite personable. Regarding her comment that “I was also told that there are no natural predators, but, I’ve seen what Mountain Lions can do in destruction to wildlife. So, with this I disagree.”

    I was up in the White Mountain Herd Management Area on Tuesday 06/21, and encountered a young stallion, who appeared to be 5-7 years old that was dead with injuries that had clearly been sustained during an encounter with a predator. Currently the bands are all staying very close together in the same location which is a common response to protecting foals when there are predators in the area. Seeing as this is the area where the agency intends to geld every single stallion they capture and thus eventually eradicate the herd, it would seem to bely the claim that this heard has had an average annual increase of 55% every year since the last roundup in 2007.

  16. Dorothy Nylen says:

    I do my best to boycott beef, and I suppose that’s not really fair as only something like 3% of the beef in the stores comes from the American west. And it’s not fair to the descent non-horse-hating cattle ranchers. There are some. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other cattlemen’s associations are really screwing it up for them. I am not happy with the BLM’s supposed ‘cave-in.’ They are still sterilizing herds of horses and that’s not what the American people want! It’s said that Salazar once commented publicly that wild horses don’t belong on public lands and that’s exactly where BLM still seems headed, even if it takes a little longer.

  17. Michelle Brown says:

    The cattle industry just want more free land for there cattle ! Its wrongs ! Thats all they care about ! The horses are herd by helicopters, hit, dragged, no water no feed, in foal, foals at foot, and they are beat and left broken with no medical assistance ! Now, they leave them to die now, what the heck if they are gelded ! Yea, no meds no cleaning, fly infested !! I am totally doscusterd !! I’m sick of this cruelty ! Cattlemen, ha, dont give a damn but for dollars, and when theres too much beef, which there is , do they care for the cattle, NO, they shot them and bury they cos they dont want the cost of feeding them ! So now they want to hurt again, the WILD MUSTANG OF AMERICA , take their grazing, God given may I add to thhere cattle !! Its wrong !!! I’m ashamed of you USA.

  18. Beth Schang says:

    Public land – not NCBA’s personal entitlement !! Democracy = majority rule = we the PEOPLE, which ironically are THE GROUP, and not some “insider political associated lobbyist”. . . remember our CONSTITUTION !! Animal rights group, that ambiguous “outside group” just might actually be synonymous with caring Americans.. . the BLM is, for once, actually LISTENING to the WILL of the MAJORITY of WE, THE PEOPLE !!!!!!

  19. Honor Hannon says:

    At last the BLM is following sound advise from their licenced vets with real knowledge of the risks involved in
    using such proceedures in the field with wild horses. The Americian taxpayer, like myself is sick and tired of the millions of dollars the BLM has wasted on poor judgement calls without a scientific inquiry into the cost of unforseen problems this would require.The Americian taxpayer is more aware of big government (BLM)
    wasteful spending than the NCBA, and will very soon be calling for an exact account of every wasted penny.

  20. Rachel Reeves says:

    The nerve of the BLM to recognize that spaying a mare requires a completely sterile environment and a month of careful post-operative monitoring and recovery time! Spaying a mare is a dangerous procedure for a domestic, gentle horse. The only time it was ever attempted was at Sheldon, where there was a 10% deathrate over the two weeks recovery time, and no monitoring once the horses were returned to the range. As such, the idea that spaying a mare is “sound science” is a joke. This also does not mention the cost of such procedures to tax payers. Why should tax payers continue to pay exorbitant amounts that only help special interest groups? The going rate to rent land for cattle grazing around my family’s farm is 94% higher per month than to graze on public lands, and yet I’m expected to feel sorry for this orgnization?

    The BLM is still exterminating the herds by gelding everything. The NCBA got their way. One of the most accessible, more popular horse herds in the country will be forever gone, and they will continue to reap all the profits of this extermintion. They won. Why are they still whining?

  21. Karenr says:

    BLM caved to pressure? Don’t you mean that BLM paid attention to the majority of the citizens rather than cater to a small special interest group?

  22. Velma Jay says:

    Sound Science? What sound science? Where are the completed studies on herd animals, specifically horses? Somebody has to stop the BLM from continually making plans/decisions off the tops of their heads. Domestic mares are not usually spayed and certainly not outside! Gelding stallions is not done to domestic horses because the procedure is risky for full grown adult male horses (spelling it out for the BLM so they don’t get more confused than they already are about wild horses). Only domestic colts are gelded – the procedure is ok for young horses but more complicated for the stallions. And for the aftercare, what would they do, anesthetize them everytime they want to inspect the wounds and sutures….??? Who is paying the BLM to come up with these crazy ideas to eradicate the horses from where they were given rights to live?

  23. ****Because we do our best to keep comments free of off-color words, I replaced a couple of them in this comment with ****. -Cyndi Young, Brownfield

    To whom It may concern:
    To those that use public land for almost nothing, Stop complaining about the mustangs; And most of all I won’t eat Beef.
    It’s too expensive any way; plus the added fact its bad for your health. As far as grazing rights you people (cattleman) Don’t pay enough in taxes to justify this dispute $1.35 per cow/month.

    Federal land is the U. S. tax paying citizens land, not meant for your sole purpose to poach while letting your cow’s overgraze and leave it useless.

    I know your former friend Ken Salazar is a rancher and cattleman So there is a clear conflict of interest in this situation.
    So stop with this crusade to destroy the mustangs which where their first.

    You people have a lot of **** to **** and moan about sterilizing horses. why don’t you use birth control and see how it feels to be placed on a table after you have been chased to the point of exausting your energy for surviving.
    We have worst problems to worry about like drought and flooding, climate change is a big problem for producing viable crops we need to survive.
    Again cut the crap.

    Thank You
    Elizabeth A. Morgan

  24. Cheryl Allin says:

    First let me say that Van Liew has no business being a director on both boards and should be removed from one at once. Second the foremost issue being spoken about by the ranchers at BLM meetings is the removal of wild horses from ‘thier’ land, a claim of no legal authority. This is public land. The ranchers state no concern for preservation or conservation. The voice of the ranchers screams money and power. Perhaps this is the legacy they wish to leave behind for thier families.

  25. Having spoken to the director at the BLM office in WY is a good guy. Most of what was said in the BLM’s eyes makes sense by there accounts. But, to me not knowing the cow to horse ratio and then making a decision about zeroing out a herd due to gelding or other contraceptive moves is disheartening and disturbing. I was also told that there are no natural predators, but, I’ve seen what Mountain Lions can do in destruction to wildlife. So, with this I disagree. The ravages of the wild and predators do keep the herds in check. This is just another opportunity to slowly deplete their numbers in hopes of zeroing out the herds. There is a constant battle with the cattleman in this area. Don’t get me wrong, there can be a coexistence of both horse and cattle. The horses should not be usurped due to the catttle’s presence and the cattle do do more destruction than the migratory routes of the Wild Mustangs and Burros. The other suggestion was ecosanctuaries which are run by private ranchers in which the caught Wild Mustangs and Burros can live out their lives. This sounds good, but, is disturbing being that all this land is private and that the open land where the horses once lived freely are not in captivity on a ranchers land where he gets a kick back for every Wild Mustang. Someone this seems an opportunity for corruption on whether the Wild Mustangs and Burrors are actually being taken care of. The fact remains that the public lands are being used by the cattle more and more and that the Wild Mustangs and Burros are being trapped and contained in an endless cycle. The land is public and therefore the Wild Mustangs and Burros should remain free to roam on them. The public needs to keep up the pressure so that these Wild Mustangs and Burros remain free and free from harm on public lands without the private sector of special interest groups take away everything that is precious to them and that is their freedom.

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