Sunday, January 29, 2012

White House You Tube Event

"President Obama will answer several of your top-voted questions during a special interview, which will take place on Monday, January 30, live from the White House. A selection of people who submit questions will also be invited to join a Google+ Hangout live with the President during the interview."

Did some checking of numbers by topics for the White House You Tube entries and found some interesting numbers. The White House should take note. (Of course, they will ignore in public, but they have to be taking note in private. Well, you would think so.)

Having the most questions will not get a response .. having the top-voted questions will but ....

Marijuana - 4,051 questions (this seems to be the most top-rated subject)

Economy - 2,189 questions

Social Security - 1,252 questions

Horse Slaughter -1,226 questions. (we are very close to Social Security in ratings).

Immigration - 1,149 questions (of the questions that weren't removed, horse slaughter questions rate higher).

Defense - 1, 145 questions.
Income Taxes - 798 questions.
Horse had 835 questions.
Medicare - 569 questions.

The topic of Horse and Horse slaughter had more entries than Social Security and Medicare combined! More questions than defense, more than Immigration and half as many as the Economy. And as the numbers increased yesterday, I noticed that some of our questions were being removed. Several questions using the word "equine" were deemed inappropriate and the author had to re-submit them.

Now, you would think that the White House would have filters for cuss words and any other offensive language. Not sure how the word "equine" fits in with any of those so can one person objecting to a question get it deemed inappropriate and have it removed? Something about free speech comes to mind but we know that the last thing the pro slaughter folks want is for the topic of horse slaughter to be examined in the clear, light of day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NIO site and link to Scummitt Agenda

What the .....???

This could be good for the horses if some don't have to be shipped as far. It could also be very bad if they are not branded, tagged and records are not kept. I also might be willing to bet that the holding site will be on private property so that viewing will be controlled and limited.

Posted: Jan 23, 2012 7:04 PM CSTUpdated: Jan 23, 2012 7:04 PM CST

TONOPAH, Nev. (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management is planning to gather wild horses and burros from the range in central Nevada and offer the animals for immediate, on-site adoption.

The BLM says trap site adoptions will coincide with planned roundups of mustangs from the Stone Cabin Complex in February, and of burros in the Bullfrog Herd Management Area scheduled to begin in March.

Exact dates or locations for the adoption events have not yet been set.

Friday, January 13, 2012

An uplift for my spirit!

Thursday, I spoke to a group of senior citizens at a local church where my Dad has been going to respite care for almost five years.

I knew, from speaking with the respite director, that her volunteers had heard about the possible opening of horse slaughter plants here in the states and that nearly all of them were saddened and dismayed by the news. So, I spoke briefly to them to tell them how we got to this point and what they could do for the horses. I have to tell you that I was amazed and heartened by a group of sixty (the younger ones!!), seventy and eighty year olds who seemed interested, engaged and truly cared enough to do something.

They signed letters and petitions, gave me the names of family members who were interested, they took bumper stickers, armbands, asked questions and wanted to help.

I also heard about a group at a grocery store a few weeks ago that had set up a table for signatures on a petition. I am renewed .. not because I dare to hope that my Arkansas delegation will actually do something about the ban on horse slaughter, but simply because there ARE people out there who think this is wrong and are willing to speak up and do something to stop it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I really try hard not to be snide ....

but I have little to throw at the BLM this time around but some attitude and snide. I threw everything I had at them back in August when responding to the Scoping Letter for the PMWHR and they just FONSI'd the snot out of all my efforts and concerns. At that time, I hadn't read the previous E/A and didn't realize that the RMP was set and unless the Billings Office was going rogue, there was little chance in hell that the RMP wasn't going to be followed.

I guess we live and learn on these, but we have to be better about getting in on the RMP's because once those are set, responding to the E/A's is like trying to get the milk back into the bottle.

(* Glossary - see below)



City, State, Zip

Jim Sparks

BLM Field Manager

Billings Field Office

5001 Southgate Drive

Billings, MT 59101

Response to Preliminary EA DOI-BLM-MT-0010-2012-0001-EA on Pryor Mountain Wild Horse roundup for 2012.

Mr. Sparks,

First of all I want to thank your office for taking the bait/water trapping approach to this roundup instead of using helicopters. I also appreciate that you are attempting to manage the population at the high end of the AML because of the use of population control (per the RMP) which is something not all Field Offices seem to plan for or understand.

Yet, I do not agree with removing so many youngsters at once … up to 2/3 of the 1 to 3 year olds will be removed in a short time (per page 12) and for such a small herd, that impact is hard to calculate.

I agree with others that you should wait until its clear how many foals are born in 2012 and make a decision then even if you have to do a smaller removal than planned.

BTW, I am aware that the chart on Page 5 & 6 is intended to show forage utilization levels, but the two pictures on Page 6 do not line up properly, Photo 2 having been taken much farther back from the road and at a slightly different angle than Photo 1 so it makes it more difficult to assess the exact conditions of the Lone Pine pasture at that particular spot. It would have also been helpful to have more than four point of comparison (Key Area C-19 Lone Pine, Area Q F.S, Pens Meadow and South T.B Pens) and more than one set of pictures to really help those who don't have boots on the ground get an idea of any detrimental change in grazing conditions. I am really surprised at the percentage of change in the utilization levels since when I spoke with Mr. Bybee in late August, he said the ranges hadn't deteriorated all that much. How do you account for such a deterioration in such a short time if Mr. Bybee's assessment was correct? (August to October) And why do you say the deterioration is due to increase in population between 2010 and 2011 when the number of births and deaths were about the same?

Could there be changes in forage utilization levels due to the reconstruction of the Forest Service Fence? If so, how do you plan to mitigate that so that more horses don't end up being removed to compensate for a fence? Are you also aware that a small band of horses was found dead next to the fence this past winter? Did they die because they could not get to their accustomed pasture and did not know that the way was blocked permanently?

I also have to wonder why the BLM uses pictures of a barren location with horses of little color to use in its E/A photos when we know the pastures look much healthier and many of the horses have striking colors and characteristics. At first glance, it seems that the PMWHR is a barren place and the horses come in plain, brown wrappers when we know that is not the case. After all, the auction after the last roundup went quite well with many horses, especially stallions, going to private bidders for fairly high prices. How do you plan to offer these young horse for adoption? There is sure to be interest in these horses and it would be helpful to know what your adoption process is going to be.

I also was interested in reading on Page 19 of some uranium exploration pits. Where can I read more on these regarding when they were dug, by whom and if there is some move afoot to develop uranium on the PMWHR?

And finally, when I spoke to Mr. Bybee in August, he mentioned that the horses weren't using the water guzzlers as much as had been hoped. What can you do to encourage use of these guzzlers to decrease the strain on the range pastures, make the range healthier and to decrease the need for future roundups?

Best Regards,

* glossary

PMWHR - Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge

FONSI - Finding of No Significant Impact. A favorite term of the BLM when responding to advocates calls for reduced or no roundups.

RMP - Resource Management Plan. The Bible for each district and the fallback reason for telling advocates to go pound sand as in "The AML for this herd management area is set at two horses and we know that is the correct number of horses because that's what it says in the RMP."

Preliminary E/A - Preliminary Environmental Assessment. The same as the EA (see below). Just with the word "preliminary" in front of it.

EA - Environmental Assessment and the same as the Preliminary EA, just without the word "preliminary" in front of it. The BLM has to issue this before it tells you to go pound sand.