Thursday, December 31, 2009

Will Wild Horse Crisis Drag Willie & Cheryl to "Horse-Aid"


....Proceeds, of Course, to Go to The Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Legal Defense Fund. We are building the "A" Team of Wild Horse Defenders. Can Music help us pave the way to a long awaited "Return to Freedom" for our American Herds? The Wild Horse (and Burro) Warriors think so, if the musicians are so inspired and those with the BIG BUCK$ (and I dont mean the 4 legged kind) cut loo$e with a little cold hard cash and support them! Thats what its gonna take to help them get inspired. Hey, they're only human, and money does talk as we all too well know for that is the gist of the problem we are dealing with here. I know if I had three or four billion dollars and really cared about the wild horses (and burros) I would in a heartbeat turn around and say to Willie, "Hey Willie, I'll give you a million bucks if you will hold a benefit concert to help the wild horses."

What do you think he would say to that?

Maybe we should start a National Fund Raising Campaign so we can raise the $$$ on our own so we can offer it to Willie ourselves in hopes of compelling him to do the concert. Of course, by the time we have met our goal of one million dollars, the wild free-roaming horses (and burros)will be gone and the few stragglers left will be sterilized.

Will musicians come to the rescue and give a benefit concert?

Sheryl Crow Joins in Wild Horse Fight

Will the millionaires and billionaires who claim to be wild horse advocates contribute to the cause in effort to make it happen?

Barbi Twins Join Wild Horse Fight;

"We shall see," said the blindman, as he nodded and winked at the blind horse he rode in on.

Farm Aid started as a benefit concert on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, held to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year. (Dylan said, "I hope that some of the money...maybe they can just take a little bit of it, or two million, maybe...and use it, say, to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks....") Nelson and Mellencamp then brought family farmers before Congress to testify about the state of family farming in America. Congress subsequently passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure.

Today, Farm Aid is an organization that works to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, and puts on an annual concert of country, blues and rock music with a variety of stars. The board of directors includes Nelson, Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews. Young's speeches about the environment are a highlight of the annual shows.

The 2005 concert, marked the 20th anniversary of Farm Aid, took place at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park, Illinois, with events in downtown Chicago as well. The 2007 Concert took place at Randalls Island in New York City (1st Farm Aid in New York) and was recorded in High Definition to be broadcast on HDNet as a 2 Hour Special highlighting many of the performances from the Allman Brothers and Counting Crows to John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson.Farm Aid finally planted its deep seeds in St. Louis for the first time in October of 2009, with the big benefit event unfolding all day at a sold-out Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

It was a long day of messages -- just say "no" to factory farming and "yes" to family farming. The point couldn't be stressed enough, it seemed, whether via the interactive Homegrown Village area, the concessions, the PA system on the concourse and the performers from the stage.

"We want our farms back," said rock icon Neil Young at the top of his set. Later, he said: "I hope you're enjoying Farm Aid. We'd enjoy it more if you'd give us some money."

But it was the music, not the messages necessarily, that packed the joint, the wall-to-wall rock and country music. And Farm Aid overflowed with it, culminating in headliners Willie Nelson, Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp, all Farm Aid board members. [St Louis Dispatch]

Salazoo Responds to Request for Moratorium on Round-Ups

Sec of the Interior & Cattleman Ken Salazar (aka "Salazoo",) his friend and commerade in crime "Hairless" Harry Reid standing at his side,..responds to wild horse and burro advocates request for a moratorium on all round-ups; Tells Advocates, District Court Judge to *!@k Off!

The Big Story

BLM Captures Horses Behind Closed Gates

National Press Barred From Roundup

By Steven Long

Interview 12-28-09

HOUSTON, (Horseback) - When the Bureau of Land Management began their “gather’ of Wild Horse on private land on Monday, Horseback Magazine asked to go along on horseback with a reporter and photographer. We promised to be unobtrusive. We were politely turned down and told the agency would allow no press to witness what has turned into a brewing scandal for the Obama administration. We interviewed BLM spokesperson Heather Emmons.

HORSEBACK: Federal Judge Friedman last week advised against this gather. Why is the agency doing this against his advice?

BLM: Uh, well the judge ruled in our favor that we could actually go ahead and gather.

HORSEBACK: But he advised against it.

BLM: Well, all I know is that we were given the okay to go forward so we started our gather this morning.

HORSEBACK: Whose decision was it to start the gather against the judge’s advice?

BLM: Well, once we got the ruling, you know, from the judge, that we could go ahead with the gather – we went ahead with the gather.

HORSEBACK: Was it Mr. Abbey’s decision? Whose decision was it? That’s what I’m asking.

BLM: Well, I can give you the name of someone to talk to with regards to that. I can’t really talk to that.

HORSEBACK: Can you find out for me? I don’t necessarily need to talk to them. I just want to know who made the decision to go against a federal judge’s advice.

BLM: I sure can.

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: What is your plan for allowing the media access to the roundup?

HEATHER EMMONS, BLM: We are going to be on private land. We are planning specific dates where we can escort media it to the gather, and then out…

HORSEBACK: We don’t mind being escorted, but what we have in mind though is to have full access with our people on horseback. We don’t object to having one of your people on horseback next to us but we want to be able to see everything that is going on.

BLM: That’s what I’m trying to convey to you. We can’t let you have full access with this one.

HORSEBACK: What are you hiding?

BLM: We’re not hiding anything, sir.

HORSEBACK: It sounds like it.

BLM: The reason we have parts of it on private land is because it is the only way to have access to the horses for certain areas. They are really rough areas to get to. The private land is the only way we can get in there and get to them.

HORSEBACK: Isn’t it a fact that the BLM always prohibits the press from coming in and having full access?

BLM: We like to work with people and take them in with escorts only because it’s so remote out here.

HORSEBACK: In other words, you like to control the situation.

BLM: Well, we like to be able to explain what’s going on, make sure people are there for people with questions to help them out.

HORSEBACK: We’ve been covering this for months. Some people have been covering it literally for years. We, and they, are perfectly aware of what’s going on. We want to be able to photograph it. We want to see the horses if they are injured. We want to count the horses that are injured. We want to know the nature of the injury. We want to see how the injuries happen.

BLM: Okay, well we are going to have public days that are going to happen. There are parts of the gather that will be on public land and anybody can go on that. We’ll let people know when those parts of the gather will occur on our website.

HORSEBACK: How much of the gather will be on public land? How many days?

BLM: Oh, about half of it.

HORSEBACK: Will you keep people in an observation area, or will they be able to go anywhere they want?

BLM: Well, we’ll probably put them in an observation area depending on where it is and how we set it up. As you probably well know, horses spook very easily, so we can’t have people roaming around for the safety of the attendees because the horses spook if they see any movement whatsoever, they turn around and run the other way.

HORSEBACK: I run a horse magazine. I’m perfectly aware of horse behavior. What we have in mind specifically is not to do anything that would spook a horse – but have someone on horseback standing still within a hundred yards of where the gather is taking place – standing very still and not spooking.

BLM: They’ll see you, and we don’t know exactly where the helicopter is going to guide the horses.

HORSEBACK: Was anyone from the press and public out there today?

BLM: I don’t believe they were out there today, no. Again, we talked to the land owner and the land owner did not want to have the public out there today at all.

HORSEBACK: Who is the landowner by the way?

BLM: You know, in this case, I’m not sure of the names of them but I know our Horse and Burro people have spoken with them.

HORSEBACK: Could you research that for us please and get us contact information?

BLM: I sure can. We are doing a media day on Wednesday of this week.

HORSEBACK: What is going to take place at the media day?

BLM: We’re going to have everyone meet at BLM in Winnemucca at 6 AM on Wednesday morning and do a briefing to explain to people what they are going to see, what we intend to do, how it works. Then we are gong to caravan out to the site and watch horses be gathered for a few rounds.

HORSEBACK: How long will the media be out there?

BLM: We’re anticipating maybe five hours.

HORSEBACK: And how many media days are you planning?

BLM: We don’t know at this point. We’re just going to kind of gage the interest.

Calico's "Starving Horses"

Click on title above for vid of some of the Calico Herds that the BLM says are "overpopulated" and "starving." This was filmed in mid-decemeber and the round-ups began dec 28 so these horses may already be and herd dynamics broken up,..mares seperated from their babies and stallions from their mares,...that is, IF they survived the brutal chase that almost always results in serious injury and death.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The American Equine Protection Act of 2010

In passing the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the 92nd Congress Declared: That wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people;

In 2004,the 108th Congress recognized the first official National Day of the Horse. The text of the resolution states:

Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.

Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;

Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;

Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;

Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;

Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and

Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;

(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation's security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and

(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.

On the fifth anniversary of the first official National Day of the Horse, horse enthusiasts are encouraged to celebrate the horse's contribution to the United States.

Why Should We Celebrate and Protect Our American Equines?

The people of the United States need to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, heritage, society, and character of the United States from the beginning starting with the Native Americans.

There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers.
2 million people own horses.
The horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S.of $39 billion annually.
The industry has a $102 billion impact on the U.S.economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account.
The industry directly provides 460,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

Currently the horse industry has more than a $ 102,000,000,000* ( 102 billion) impact on the U.S. economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account. Including off-site spending of spectators would result in an even much higher figure.

Currently the horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S. of more than $ 39, 000,000,000* ( 39 billion) annually.

Currently more than 4,600,000* ( 4.6 million) Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers. Tens of millions more participate as spectators.

The Horse industry pays 1, 900,000,000* ( 1.9 billion) in taxes to all levels of government.

Forty-five states have at least 20,000 horses each*.

There are 9,200,000* ( 9.2 million) horses in the United States. Including horses used for racing, showing, competition, sport, breeding, recreation, farm and ranch work, rodeo, carriage horses, polo, police work, informal competitions etc. This includes horses used both commercially and for pleasure.

Horse Competitions including the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) games involve over 60 countries, 1000 horses and contestants which will be competing for the first time in the United States specifically in Lexington KY in 2010. The popularity of horses is increasing among the world countries. The FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The Horse industry directly employs 701,946* people. Some people are part time and some people are seasonal, so this equates to 460,000* full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

Spending by suppliers and employees generates additional jobs for a total employment impact of 1,400,000* (1.4 million) jobs.

*American Horse Council Statistics

To: The 111th Congress of the United States

Be it that the BLM is currently holding more wild horses and burros in captivity than it can afford to maintain, (said to be approximatly 35,-40,000 and growing) and be it that by BLMs own admission, there is far more adoptable horses being held in these holding facilities than there is a demand for,...and be it that again, by the BLMs own admission, the Wild Horse and Burro Management Program is in crisis because of the great number of wild equines currently being held in captivity at these facilities,....We, the People of the United States who care about the welfare of Americas Equines and in particular our Wild & Free-roaming herds,...hereby submit this proposal to our representatives as well as to all members of Congress in hopes of providing a way for interested parties to come together and work towards enactment of these clauses as listed below which would allow a viable, cost-effective alternative to "un-restricted sale" and/or the extreme measure of euthansia that these thousands of American wild horses and burros being held in captivity are facing.

A Proposal


Preserving those provisions of the 1971 Act not amended herein, including that provision which entitles the wild horses and burros to principal use of their historic rangelands "as found in 1971," and;

Amending,removing,replacing and/or adding certain portions and provisions of The Act to:

1. Declare American Equines a National Treasure;

2. Prohibiting the slaughter of any American Equine as well as prohibiting their sale or transfer to other parties for the purpose of slaughter.

3. Remove the Burns/Reid rider amendment that allows for the unrestricted sale of some wild horses or burros and replace with a "Pickins Plan" Amendment that would allow for placement of excess wild horses and burros in private or public sanctuaries while still maintaining the protections of this Act.

4. Correct the Omission of the 92nd Congress in failing to provide protections in the 1971 Act for ALL wild free-roaming horses and burros on all of our Nations public lands.

5. Declare, as the 109th Congress did, and re-affirm that December 13th is a National Day of the Horse and is to be celebrated annually.

The New Act, once written up and incorporated with the un-amended portions of the Old (1971) Act,...will superceede and replace the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971, and will be known as "The American Equine Protection Act of 2010."

*This is only a rough draft and suggestions on improvement are welcome and strongly encouraged.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nevada Lawmakers Fail to pay taxes

I-Team: 2 Nev. Lawmakers Fail to Pay Taxes, Rack up Thousands in Debt
Posted: Dec 28, 2009 6:05 PM EST
Updated: Dec 28, 2009 7:25 PM EST

I-Team: 2 Nev. Lawmakers Fail to Pay Taxes, Rack up Thousands in Debt

More Las Vegas News More>>More Than 300,000 Visitors Expected in Las Vegas for New YearDeals Being Offered on Dying Car BrandsFreeway and Las Vegas Strip Closures for New Year's EveMetro to Step Up DUI Patrols on New Year's EveNevada Bankruptcy Filings Dip in NovemberRECALL: Tylenol Arthritis Caplets RecallTributePalooza to Rock Fremont Street New Year's EveFree Bus Rides for New Year's HolidayEconomists Expect Nevada Job Market to Remain WeakParraguirre Named NV Chief JusticeLAS VEGAS -- One is a retired schoolteacher. The other deals with real estate. Both are state lawmakers and both were behind thousands of dollars in back taxes and liens.

The I-Team examined the property tax records for every state lawmaker in Clark County. From the public records available online, only two of the politicians were delinquent. Both have a track record of tax problems.

Assemblyman Harvey Munford, a three-term Democrat and former teacher was exposed during an I-Team investigation in May 2008 for missing payments. Recently, he was found to be behind more than $2,100 on his home and horse land near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Washington Avenue. He had not paid his property taxes since September 23, 2008.

"I'm totally taken by surprise," Munford said when questioned about the lapses. He blamed the "oversight" on his wife, claiming he knew nothing about certified mailings sent to his home. "My wife usually takes care of that. She's supposed to pay them," Munford said.

Within an hour of being told about the tax lapses, Munford paid the bill. His tax record is paid and current according to Clark County Treasurer records.

Arberry Unanswered

Morse Arberry joined the Nevada Assembly when a gallon of gas was a little over $1 and movie tickets did not even crack $3.

Since 1985, Arberry has been a popular figure in Carson City during the four-month tour of duty in the legislature. He has commanded the Ways and Means committee first in 1993, and then from 1997 until this year, longer than anyone in state history. That committee decides and debates where tax money should be spent in Nevada.

Morse Arberry, however, chooses not to pay his own taxes.

As with Munford, Arberry was caught missing payments before. In 2008, his property in the Canyon Gate Country Club was behind $31,000 in back taxes until the I-Team started asking questions. Arberry paid off his debt then, but has failed to pay taxes at his Walker Street address since the exact day the first story aired. That property is behind more than $2,000 in property taxes, unpaid since May 2008.

The I-Team also found Arberry has financial problems -- liens and debts at every one of his six Las Vegas properties:

Canyon Springs property: $3,500 in old homeowners' association dues and sewer liens
Gazing Stars property: $227,000 from trustee sale debt
Virginia City Avenue property: $336 in an unpaid sewer lien
Cool River property: nearly $4,500 in old HOA fees
Fred Brown Drive property: $257,000 in house debt and liens
Walker Street property: $2,000 in back taxes, $1,100 in liens
Records indicate Arberry and perhaps financial partners are suing banks in order to stall the debt at Gazing Stars and Fred Brown.

The combined totals listed on the Clark County Recorder and Treasurer listings put Arberry's taxes and debts at more than $496,000.

Arberry refused to publicly comment about the debts and taxes. He was apparently unaware of the depth of the financial problems when questioned about it by the I-Team. He promised to resolve the issue after the New Year holiday.

Andy Matthews with the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a libertarian think tank, said taxpayers and voters should be offended by Munford and Arberry's continued conduct.

"Our elected officials and politicians in some cases feel that they can live and exist above the law," Matthews said. "It's particularly incumbent on those who go to the public and ask for their vote---ask for their trust, to be the stewards of state government, that they, more than anybody, follow the law" he said.

Matthews questioned a double standard for lawmakers, especially in Arberry's case.

"How many citizens are going to look at this and say, ‘well, how can they come after me for not following the law, for not paying my taxes if they're not willing to do it themselves?'" he said.

Arberry is term-limited and will only be a part of interim committees or a special session until November 2010.

Click on title above for article and place to comment;

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Hairless Harrys" HomeTown Gold Plan Gets OK from Buddy BLMers

Searchlight Minerals Corp. Receives Conditional Approval of Plan of Operations

December 15, 2009: 09:00 AM ET

Searchlight Minerals Corp. (OTCBB: SRCH) ("Searchlight" or the "Company"), an
exploration stage minerals company focused on precious metals projects in the
southwestern United States, today announced that the Company has received
conditional approval of its 18 drill-hole Plan of Operations for the Searchlight
Gold Project.

Plan of Operations

On December 3, 2009, the Company received notice from the Bureau of Land
Management (the "BLM") that the Company's Plan of Operations, which includes an
eighteen 100-ft drill hole program on its Searchlight Gold Project, was approved
subject to the following conditions: (i) the Conditions for Approval being
accepted by the Company; (ii) confirmation that the tortoise mitigation fee has
been paid to Clark County, NV; and (iii) confirmation that the reclamation bond,
in the amount of $7,802, has been accepted by the BLM.

The Company has met conditions (i) and (ii) above and has sent the funds for the
$7,802 bond to the BLM. The BLM has informed the Company that acceptance of the
bond generally takes approximately 30 days. Following the acceptance of the
bond, it is expected that the Company can proceed with operations as defined by
the Plan of Operations.

"We are very pleased to have received approval from the BLM, upon the conditions
being met, for the Plan of Operations on our Searchlight Gold Project," said Ian
McNeil, CEO and President of Searchlight Minerals Corp. "Now that the permitting
phase is nearly complete with respect to this 18-hole drill program, we can plan
our drilling and metallurgical program for the coming 12 months. While the
Company's primary focus and resources continue to be on the Clarkdale Slag
Project operations, we are excited to begin drilling on our Searchlight Gold
Project in 2010."

About Searchlight Minerals Corp.

Searchlight Minerals Corp. is a minerals exploration company focused on precious
metals projects in the southwestern United States. The Company is currently
involved in two projects: (1) the Clarkdale Slag Project, located in Clarkdale,
Arizona, is a reclamation project to recover precious and base metals from the
reprocessing of slag produced from the smelting of copper ores mined at the
United Verde Copper Mine in Jerome, Arizona; and (2) the Searchlight Gold
Project, which involves exploration for precious metals on mining claims near
Searchlight, Nevada. The Clarkdale Project is the more advanced of two ongoing
projects that the Company is pursuing. The Searchlight Gold Project is an
early-stage gold exploration endeavor on 3,200 acres located approximately 50
miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Searchlight Minerals Corp. is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, and its common
stock is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "SRCH." Additional
information is available on the Company's website at
and in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Press Release may contain, in addition to historical information,
forward-looking statements. Statements in this news release that are
forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties
concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and
elsewhere in the Company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. When used in this news release, the words such as "could,"
"plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "potential," "should," and
similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. The risk factors that could
cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements include,
but are not restricted to the Company's limited operating history, uncertainties
about the availability of additional financing, geological or mechanical
difficulties affecting the Company's planned geological or other work programs,
uncertainty of estimates of mineralized material, operational risk,
environmental risk, financial risk, currency risk and other statements that are
not historical facts as disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere
in the Company's periodic filings with securities regulators in the United
States. Consequently, risk factors including, but not limited to the
aforementioned, may result in significant delays to the projected or anticipated
production target dates.

Contact Information:
Carl Ager
Vice President
(702) 939-5247
Email Contact
RJ Falkner & Company, Inc.
Investor Relations Counsel
(800) 377-9893
Email Contact

Slaughter-Gate Con't

The BLM Slaughter Conspiracy

By John Holland and Valerie James-Patton

December 20, 2009

"Pure propaganda" was Bureau of Land Management (BLM) spokesperson Tom Gorey's
reaction in a recent AP interview when asked about the growing accusations that
his agency is in the process of virtually exterminating the very herds of wild
horses and burros that it is supposed to protect.

However, Gorey's denial of the BLM's intentions rings false in the light of
recently uncovered documents from the BLM itself and of its own published plans
and estimates. It is not possible to interpret these in any way other than a
plan to virtually eradicate the wild herds.

Two internal-use BLM reports were obtained earlier this year through the Freedom
of Information Act; Alternative Management Options Plans from October 2008 and
the Team Conference Calls Report from July - September 2008. In these documents,
BLM members presented, analyzed and discussed several management plans aimed at
reducing the population of the wild horses on the range as well as those in
holding facilities.

Proposals for reducing the populations included adjusting herd sex ratios with
some of the horses returned being gelded, and an increased use of the
contraceptive PZP, the use of other unauthorized fertility drugs called Gonacon
and SpayVac and even surgical sterilization of mares (a process that has
resulted in 10% mortality).

Also found in the Team Conference Calls report were these notes submitted by Don

"Sally had an e-mail from a person in Canada who wants 10,000 horses that he
would slaughter the horses and send them to a third world country. Don is going
to send the email. Jim said he has a demand for horses going to Denmark, but
they are having a problem getting titled horses."

Adding further to the plan for sending wild horses to foreign countries, the
following recommendations were submitted to BLM from BLM's advisory board
members at the June 15th, 2009, Advisory Board Meeting held in Sacramento, Ca:

"that BLM advertise and market sale eligible animals (with the intent clause) in
foreign countries with known good homes by offering "select sales" for sale
eligible animals 11 years of age and over, and for younger animals that have
been offered for adoption three times during a 90 day period and that BLM
continue to explore opportunities to foster foreign aid by providing sale
eligible animals (with the intent clause) to foreign countries for agricultural
(nonfood) use."

The BLM's response to these recommendations was that it is considering these
plans as part of a 5 year strategy plan.

Clearly, the BLM has already been corresponding with foreign countries to market
the wild horses with the intent to send the horses to slaughter. The board
recommendation that the sales include the "intent clause" was clearly a fig
leaf. The BLM is well aware that it would be impossible to enforce the intent
clause in foreign countries.

But if that were not an obvious enough fig leaf, then the reference to
"countries with known good homes" is a laughable one. It comes as no surprise
that the notes from Don Glenn, who is also a member of the advisory board, were
not mentioned at the advisory board meeting.

While Tom Gorey may continue to claim that it's pure propaganda that the BLM is
in the process of eliminating the wild horses, the notes regarding the slaughter
of our wild horses in foreign countries, combined with the advisory board
recommendation to sell the horses to foreign countries proves otherwise.

The BLM's plan is now clear. They will first ignore the 1971 Wild Free Roaming
Horse and Burro Act and gather virtually all the wild herds, working year-round
until only a few small, sterile bands remain free. If delayed in one place, they
will simply shift their schedule and gather at another as they did with Buckhorn
when Calico was delayed.

The cost of feeding these captured horses, along with the 37,000 already in
holding, will then precipitate an enormous financial crisis. This will leave the
BLM with no option but to euthanize or ship to slaughter most of the horses in

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Americas Last Wild Horses by Hope Ryden

Click on title above for content of book and beautiful pics, updated in 1999

American Equines a National Treasure

Whereas equines are a living link to the history of the United States;

A Congressional Proposal


2d Session

Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of equines to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress & The American people that our American Equines should be declared a National Treasure.


December 20, 2009

Supporters & Co-Sponsors; ________________________,___________________________,______________________________,_________________________,________________________,_________________________,_________________________,___________________________.



Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress and the American People that American Equines should be established as a National Treasure.

Whereas equines are a living link to the history of the United States;

Whereas, without equines, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;

Whereas equines continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;

Whereas equines are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;

Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic equines rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and

Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States, and that our National Herds of Wild Equines are fast disappearing from our public lands and in danger of extinction: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of equines to the economy, history, and character of the United States;

(2) expresses its sense that American Equines are a uniquely American National Treasure and should be recognized as same for the importance they played and continue to play in the Nation's security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and

(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to declare American Equines a National Historical and Cultural Treasure and to design and implement appropriate programs and activities in celebration of same.

Happy Belated "National Day of the Horse"

To be celebrated annually every Dec. 13th.

Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States; (Introduced in House)



2d Session

H. CON. RES. 507
Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.


September 30, 2004
Mr. KINGSTON (for himself, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. BURNS, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Mrs. BONO, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. BISHOP of Georgia, Mr. GORDON, Mr. SWEENEY, Mr. CHANDLER, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. FORD, Ms. KILPATRICK, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. GOODE, Mr. LEWIS of California, Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky, Mr. DEAL of Georgia, Mr. BURGESS, Mr. LUCAS of Kentucky, Mr. HALL, Mr. SPRATT, and Mr. HEFLEY) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.

Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;

Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;

Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;

Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;

Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and

Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;

(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation's security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and

(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.

Cowboys and Mustangers Moving to the End of an Era

Ulysses S. Grant wrote, about a day in March of 1846. “A few days out from Corpus Christi, the immense herd of wild horses that ranged at the time between the Nueces and the Rio Grande was seen directly in advance of the head of the column and but a few miles off. It was the very band from which the horse I was riding had been captured just a few weeks before. The column halted for a rest, and a number of officers, myself among them, rode out two or three miles to see the extent of the herd. The country was a rolling prairie, and, from the higher ground, the vision was obstructed only by the earth’s curvature. As far as the eyes reach to our right, the herd extended. To the left, it extended equally. There was no estimating the animals in it. I have no idea that they could all have been corralled in the State of Rhode Island or Delaware, at one time. If they had been they would have been so thick that the pasturage would have given out the first day.”

This sight was at the height of the Spanish Mustang’s domination of the Plains. And though it was short lived it was a sight that was recorded over and over in astonishment by many an American settler coming onto the Western Plains.

After Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836 the horses and cattle belonging to the Mexican Ranchers between the San Anontio River and the Rio Grande became virtually free to raiders. These raiders, called “Cow Boys” took only the most manageable animals, leaving the others to run wilder than they had before. This begins the era of the cowboys and open range ranching. It also nurtures the growth of the Mustangers which finally ends with the genocide of the wild Spanish Mustangs to favor the fenced ranches and the beginning of the industrialized cattle industry.

These cowboys took on the ranching style and horse culture of Mexican vaqueros, Americanized to buckaroo. In lower Texas, cowmen who had generally quit raising their own mounts, had a strong preference for horses out of the rough country. Grullas were numerous and were excellent cow horses. The color was slate or mouse with the breed characteristics of barred legs and a dorsal stripe.

The classic bucking bronc who pawed at the moon, broke in two half way up, sunfishing on the way down, hitting the ground hard enough to split a cowboy’s liver, was a distinct trait of the Western Hemisphere. It changed the “English style” of riding with short stirups. As the horse grew wilder the short stirups prevented getting a quick seat and clasping legs against a squirming horse. The stirup was lengthened to make range riding more comfortable and effective. It was believed that the Spanish Mustangs got the trait of bucking from practice in pitching off panthers. However, the range way of letting horses run wild untouched by human hands for three or four years before the brutal process of breaking the horse instead of “gentling”, is most likely the real cause for broncing.

Like the Native American and his horse the cowboy and his horse were like an individual, almost one mind and body working together with a well developed cow sense and a love of the wide open plains. Most of these cowboys had their own remuda of horses that they rode from ranch to ranch but also used the remuda of the ranch for which they worked.

Their are many accounts from cowboys of this period of their Spanish Mustang cow horses and we will cover these in another show, in the future.

In the late 1800’s, when the English speaking ranchers moved into the Spanish zones of Texas, many ranchers began bringing in the blooded stallions from Tennessee and elsewhere. The wild Spanish Mustang stallions were fighting off these blooded stallions. The ranchers conducted roundups on the open prairies, participants were armed and they had orders to kill any wild stallions that broke through the lines. In one recorded roundup by Jim Reeves it was estimated that 15,000 horses were rounded up, as the wild stallions broke through the lines they were shot. Colts, old mares and old horses were trampled to death. About 200 stallions were killed. Several thousand horses were driven north and east for sale. George W. Sanders said of the event. “I have worked cattle from the Rio Grande to Montana, but this round up of horses was the greatest sight I have ever seen on any range.”

Unlike the Native American who used every part of an animal and who selectively breed the Spanish Mustang herds for endurance, speed and strength the English speaking American killed indiscriminantly to protect his investment regardless of the fact that the blooded stallions he invested in could not hold their own in a natural environment against the Wild Spanish Mustang stallions, who had ruled these plains for over two hundred years and had evolved to be masters of the harsh world they inherited.

The Mustanger existed as long as the vaqueros rode horses. The range way of raising horses required mustangers to capture the Spanish Mustangs for “gentling” from the wild herds. Many times the Mexican families were mustangers by tradition. Jack Thorpe recounted a meeting with such a family. “We saw the fast-rising dust of a band of horses approaching us at an angle, and then, as they got closer, two riders crowding them closely. One was a girl on a big white horse. As we watched, she raced alongside a sorrel that was crowding against other mustangs to get away from her. They were all going like the wind. Presently, when she got the position she wanted, she reached over, grabbed the sorrel’s mane, and slipped neatly from her seat onto the wild one’s back. Her saddle was a sheepskin pad, held on by a surcingle to which were fastened two brass stirups, the whole equipment weighing hardly more than three pounds.”

“ All she took with her when she made the glide was a hair rope about ten feet long. As the sorrel raced on at full speed, she threw a little loop over his head, tightened it and then threw upward two half hitches around his nose. With only this bozal (nose band) to guide the runaway, she passed from sight, veering out from the mustang bunch.”

“Immediately after she changed horses, her companion caught the reins of the white mount and led him over to where we had halted in astonishment.”

“‘How’s that girl going to stop her horse? I asked in Spanish. ‘He’s liable to run into the Gulf of Mexico, no?’”

“‘She’ll be back pretty soon, he replied. He was her brother, as we learned.”

“ In about half an hour she was back on the sorrel, now well winded. Using the hair rope as a rein and bozal, she had checked him, gradually brought him around, and was now guiding him. She was maybe fourteen years old, small and wry, weighing about seventy pounds. Pony express riders use to change horses with spectacular rapidity, but theirs were broken. This bit of a girl was skimming onto the back of mustangs that had never felt human hand or rope.”

This account of the original mustangers defined the skill and daring required to capture the Spanish Mustangs by the Mexican families. This was not the only method employed by mustangers through the years. They raced and roped, trapped, creased by bullet, walked down, snared, caught colts and practically became Spanish Mustangs them selves. For over 200 years the mustanger was the source of horses for frontiers men, cowboys, calvary and travelers.

As the 1900’s came to a close and the open range started to become fenced, cow boys turned to mustanging to make a living and to continue the free lifestyle they so loved. The gentleman rancher wanted the Spanish Herds destroyed because they were competing for grazing with their cattle and the need for the horse for transportation and exploration was giving way to the era of industrialization. The Eastern market for horses was drying up and the extermination of the Spanish herds was necessary for western expansion across the Great Plains. The introduction of blooded stallions from the East along with the destruction of the wild Spanish stallions had begun to taint the pure Spanish characteristics of the original herds as they dwindled from millions to just thousands in a couple of decades.

From the 1500’s to the end of the 1800’s the Spanish Mustang had been an industry of horse flesh that European and Native American alike depended on for their economic, spiritual and social moorings and played an important role in the power struggle over the lands of Western America. Without them there would not have been a West.

When I set out to research this show I found so many personal documented accounts of cowboys and mustangers that it became hard to separate just the information about the Spanish Mustang during this period. The people and the mustangs were like one being moving through the annual of history so bound together that to tell ones story is to tell them both. It was not just the stories of horses told by men and women but it was a story of how they came to commune together. How this special breed stole the hearts and minds of the people they came in contact with and proved them selves to be something special within the world of horse culture. Maybe it was the land that brought out the passion in both for freedom, independence, endurance and fortitude, for it had surely done so with all the Native American societies. I know as I look out upon these same western plains, to the far horizon, sitting on my Spanish Mustang as she snorts and sniffs the air, eyes and ears alert to ever sound and I feel her body buzzing with the sheer joy of all the vastness. I have an inkling of the communion; of the utter freedom to be one with nature and its creatures.

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© copyright 2009 Winthrop Brookhouse

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Congress Designates JAZZ as a National Treasure

Waaay back in the 1980s'-


Passed by the 100th Congress of the United States of America

Introduced by the Honorable John Conyers Jr. (D-MI)- a "Good friend" of equines and one of our staunchest anti-horse slaughter supporters in Congress. Why cant he propose something like this for Americas Equines that would help protect them all, domestic and wild, from slaughter?


Whereas, jazz has achieved preeminence throughout the world as an
indigenous American music and art form, bringing to this country
and the world a uniquely American musical synthesis and culture
through the African-American experience and 1. makes evident to
the world an outstanding artistic model of individual expression and
democratic cooperation within the creative process, thus fulfilling
the highest ideals and aspirations of our republic,
2. is a unifying force, bridging cultural, religious, ethnic and age
differences in our diverse society,
3. is a true music of the people, finding its inspiration in the cultures
and most personal experiences of the diverse peoples that constitute
our Nation,
4. has evolved into a multifaceted art form which continues to birth
and nurture new stylistic idioms and cultural fusions,
5. has had an historic, pervasive and continuing influence on other
genres of music both here and abroad, and
6. has become a true international language adopted by musicians
around the world as a music best able to express contemporary
realities from a personal perspective;
Whereas, this great American musical art form has not yet been
properly recognized nor accorded the institutional status
commensurate with its value and importance;
Whereas, it is important for the youth of America to recognize and
understand jazz as a significant part of their cultural and intellectual
Whereas, in as much as there exists no effective national
infrastructure to support and preserve jazz;
Whereas, documentation and archival support required by such a
great art form has yet to be systematically applied to the jazz field;
Whereas, it is now in the best interest of the national welfare and all
of our citizens to preserve and celebrate this unique art form;
Now, therefore be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the
Senate concurring), that it is the sense of the Congress that jazz is
hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure
to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to
make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated.
Passed by the House of Representatives September 23, 1987 Passed
by the Senate December 4, 1987

--------------AND NOW, Rep. Conyers is proposing a new bill (HR 894 - that would honor the 50th anniversary of Miles Davisis' jazz-hit "Kind of Blue" and to REAFFIRM Jazz as A NATIONAL TREASURE;
(Click on title above for the full text of that law)

I myself am "kind of blue" that Rep Conyers wouldnt think to do something like this for Americas Endangered Equines....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wild Asses All Over the World Critically Endangered

Wild Nubian Ass

Sleek, graceful, proud, and majestic, wild members of the horse family Equidae (horses, zebras, and wild asses) have long held a strong fascination for humans. Found in some of the most unlivable habitats in the world, wild asses are able to eke out a living and thrive where most animals could not. Some wild asses are also known as kulans, onagers, and kiangs. They differ from horses and zebras in their smaller size, larger ears, tufted tail, stiff mane, and characteristic loud bray. Wild asses are intelligent creatures, with excellent vision and hearing. They'd rather run from predators than fight. If cornered, though, they will kick hard to protect themselves. One swift kick from the business end of a sharp hoof is enough to drive away most predators!

A wild design
All wild asses have bristly upright manes like their zebra relatives. The African wild asses Equus africanus have soft gray bodies, white bellies, spiky black-and-gray manes, and unique black and white stripes on their legs that also hint of their family connections! The wild asses native to Asia are either pale tan or reddish in color with white bellies and lack the leg stripes of their African cousins. They are also slightly larger than their African counterparts. They stand about 4 feet tall (1.2 meters) at the shoulder and have small, narrow hooves-the smallest of all the equids-which help them move quickly and safely through their stony habitat. It is this small, surefooted design on the African wild asses that led to their domestication by the Egyptians more than 6,000 years ago!

Grass on the menu
All wild asses are herbivores and spend their time grazing on grasses, but they will also eat scrub, bark, and tough desert plants. Wild asses at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park are fed hay, alfalfa, and carrots. Even though they are very well adapted for life in the desert, they must live near a water source and need to drink to survive. They are most active at dawn, dusk, and nighttime, when it is cool, in order to conserve energy and water. During the heat of the day they prefer to rest in the shade.

Tough food, tough life
The kiang Equus kiang is the largest of the wild asses. It is native to the high, cold habitat of the Tibetan plateau in Asia and is sometimes called the Tibetan wild ass. In this dry climate, the growing season for plants lasts only two to three months, so kiangs must eat as much vegetation as they can during that time to put on fat to last through the cold winter. They have tough, thick lips and the roof of their mouth is ridged to help them eat the tough grasses and shrubs that grow there.

Beating the heat
Onagers and kulans Equus hemionus live in harsh desert habitat, where summer temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius)! They also have to deal with the problem of finding enough food to eat. They have adapted to life in the desert. They eat low-growing plants and grasses, as well as salty soil!

Inspiring cave painters
Somali wild asses Equus africanus somalicus are the smallest equids and are native to the rocky deserts of eastern Africa. Like the onagers and kulans, the Somali wild ass has to deal with extremely high temperatures. The animals will rest under any shade they can find until it cools down in the late afternoon and evening. They will graze again in the early morning hours. The African wild asses have been an important part of Africa's history. Their images have been painted in caves by ancient peoples in North Africa, and, at one time, sultans of the area ordered a man's hand cut off if he killed a wild ass.

To herd or not to herd
The Somali wild ass often lives alone due to the lack of food in the deserts where it is found. Small herds do exist, though, usually comprised of mares (adult females) and their offspring. Occasionally, larger groups will form during the wet season when food and water are more plentiful. This is also when foals are born and mating takes place. Stallions (adult males) are often solitary, and mature stallions are known to protect territories that will usually include a water source. It's good to be the only stallion around when the mares come down to the water hole for a drink!

Kiangs, kulans, and onagers live in herds that can number from five to several hundred individuals. The larger herds are made up of mares with their young and immature males and females. These herds are led by an older mare. Stallions tend to live alone or with other stallions, joing the herd only during the summer breeding season.

Bringing up baby
Stallions will often fight each other in bitter battles that include rearing and biting, all for the right to breed with the females. The mares give birth to foals about 11 months later. Wild ass foals (babies) are able to follow their mothers within a few hours after birth, and by the time they are one year old they are half grown, weaned, and no longer need their mothers.

Winter coats
Like all equids, wild asses grow long, dense winter coats to protect them from the cold. In the spring, they begin to molt, losing the hair in patches. To help the molting process along, two animals will stand side by side and head to tail, nipping at each other's sides and necks. The animals will also roll and bite and scratch at their own coats to keep their skin in good condition.

At risk
All wild equids—horses, zebras, and wild asses—are threatened. They must compete with people and livestock for food and water sources. They are hunted for food, skins, and use in traditional medicines. They can also freely interbreed with domesticated donkeys, which further threatens the species. The Somali wild ass is at critical risk, with only a few hundred left in the wild. Something as simple as a drought could be enough to wipe out the species completely. The Nubian wild ass Equus africanus africanus may be extinct in the wild already.

The San Diego Zoo participates in a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for equids to help keep these species alive and well. Our Wild Animal Park is one of only a few breeding facilities in the United States that maintains wild asses and has welcomed the births of over 25 Somali wild asses, more than any other zoo in North America. The Park devotes about 65 acres (26 hectares) to our kiangs, onagers, and Somali asses.

Click on title above for more info on the seven (7) living species of Equus;

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Americas Wild Horses: A Study in Mis-management

Click on title above for article;

Not-so-free To Roam

Click on title above to go to article;

Grazing & Federal Public Lands Law

Grazing and Federal Public Lands Law

Compiled by Laird Lucas

Advocates for the West

1. Congress regulates federal lands: “The congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.” Property Clause, U.S. Constitution, Art. IV, § 3, cl. 2.

2. Grazing on public lands is a privilege, and not a right: See 43 U.S.C. § 315b & 16 (1943 Taylor Grazing Act, stating that grazing preferences "shall not create any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the lands" belonging to the U.S. Government); 43 U.S.C. § 580l (FLPMA similar provision); Omaechevarria v. Idaho, 246 U.S. 343, 352 (1918) ("Congress has not conferred upon citizens the right to graze stock upon the public lands. The government has merely suffered the lands to be so used"); U.S. v. Fuller, 409 U.S. 488, 494 (1973) (grazing permittee does not acquire a property interest in grazing permit); Swim v. Bergland, 696 F.2d 712, 719 (9th Cir. 1983) ("license to graze on public lands has always been a revocable privilege"); Osborne v. United States, 145 F.2d 892, 896 (9th Cir. 1944) ("it has always been the intention and policy of the government to regard the use of its public lands for stock grazing. . . as a privilege which is withdrawable at any time for any use by the sovereign without the payment of compensation"); Diamond Bar Cattle Co. v. U.S.A., 168 F.3d 1209, 1217 (10th Cir. 1998) (permittees "do not now hold and have never held a vested private property right to graze cattle on federal public lands"); Alves v. U.S., 133 F.3d 1454 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (holding that neither grazing permit nor preference is a compensable property interest).

3. A permit or lease is required to graze federal lands: Permits required under the Taylor Grazing Act, which Congress enacted in 1934 in response to the excessive degradation caused by unregulated grazing on the public domain. See 43 U.S.C. § 315(b). The requirement of having a valid permit or lease to graze on BLM lands is reiterated in FLPMA, now the basic statute governing BLM's administration of federal lands. See 43 U.S.C. § 1733(g) (use or occupancy of public lands without permit is “unlawful and prohibited”), § 1752 (addressing permits); NRDC v. Hodel, 618 F. Supp. 848, 857-59 (E.D. Cal. 1985) (discussing FLPMA).

4. Grazing must meet statutory requirements to not harm the environment: Protection of public lands from overgrazing is a key purpose of both FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq., and TGA, 43 U.S.C. § 315 et seq. See Public Lands Council v. Babbitt, 120 S.Ct. 1815, 1818-20 (2000) (discussing history and development of public lands law as applying to livestock grazing, BLM’s broad authority to protect public lands from damage due to livestock grazing); 43 U.S.C. § 1701(a)(8) (policy objectives of FLPMA).

When Congress enacted FLPMA in 1976, it mandated that BLM “shall manage the public lands under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. . . .” 43 U.S.C. § 1732(a). FLPMA defines “sustained yield” as meaning “the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use.” 43 U.S.C. § 1702(h).

Under this "multiple use/sustained yield" mandate, BLM must evaluate the suitability of grazing by balancing competing resource values, to ensure that public lands are managed in a manner "that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people." National Wildlife Federation v. BLM, 140 IBLA 85 (IBLA 1997). FLPMA also requires that BLM lands "shall" be managed "in accordance with the land use plans." 43 U.S.C. § 1732(a); 43 C.F.R. § 4100.0-8. See also 43 C.F.R. § 1610.5-3(a) ("All future resource management authorizations and actions . . . shall conform to the approved plan").

5. BLM has regulatory authority to protect the land from overgrazing: BLM regulations impose additional requirements, including that "authorized livestock grazing use shall not exceed the livestock carrying capacity of the allotment." 43 C.F.R. § 4130.3-1(a). The regulations define “livestock carrying capacity” as “the maximum stocking rate possible without inducing damage to vegetation or related resources.” 43 C.F.R. § 4100.0-5. See Idaho Conservation League & WWP v. Steele, Case No. 01-529-E-BLW (D. Idaho).

Under the “Fundamentals of Rangeland Health” regulations must not impair watershed function, riparian habitat, water quality, or wildlife habitat. The FRH regulations require that BLM must revise grazing management “as soon as practicable,” and in any event no later than the start of the next grazing season, upon making determinations that the FRH Standards and Guidelines are not being met upon an allotment. 43 C.F.R. §§ 4180.1 & 4180.2(c); see also Idaho Watersheds Project v. Hahn, 187 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 1999) (enforcing this FRH requirement).

BLM’s regulations provide that “appropriate actions” to take in response to FRH violations include “implementing actions pursuant to subparts 4110, 4120, 4130, and 4160 of this part that will result in significant progress toward fulfillment of the standards and significant progress toward conformance with the guidelines.” 43 C.F.R. § 4180.2. Of these referenced subparts, 43 C.F.R. § 4110.3-2(b) expressly provides: “When monitoring or field observations show that grazing use or patterns of use are not consistent with the provisions of subpart 4180 [the FRH requirements] . . . the authorized officer shall reduce permitted grazing use or otherwise modify management practices.” See LU Ranching v. Babbitt v. IWP, No. CV-00-285-EJL (D. Idaho), Memorandum Decision and Judgment entered April 12, 2001(rejecting permittee challenges to BLM decision made under FRH regulations).

See 43 C.F.R. § 4110.3-2(b) (emphasis added). Moreover, it is “[m]andatory” that BLM incorporate into grazing permits “terms and conditions that ensure conformance with subpart 4180 [the FRH requirements].” 43 C.F.R. 4130.3-1 (c). BLM’s regulations further specify that the agency may revise grazing permits and make cuts in grazing based on “monitoring, field observations, ecological site inventory or other data acceptable to the authorized officer.” 43 C.F.R. § 4110.3.

6. NEPA applies to grazing: NEPA obligates all federal agencies to undertake a thorough description and analysis of the environmental consequences of proposed federal actions. 42 U.S.C. § 4332(2)(C); 40 C.F.R. § 1501 et seq.; Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizens' Council, 490 U.S. 332, 336 (1989). Under NEPA, agencies have a duty to prepare a detailed EIS before taking any major federal actions that may significantly affect the human environment. Id.; Foundation for North American Wild Sheep v. United States Dep’t of Agric., 681 F.2d 1172, 1177-78 (9th Cir. 1982); see also Neighbors of Cuddy Mtn. v. USFS, 137 F.3d 1372, 1380 (9th Cir. 1998).

NEPA applies to grazing. Idaho Watersheds Project v. Hahn, __ F.3d __, 2002 WL 31109002 (9th Cir. 9/24/02) (affirming injunction for NEPA violation on 1 million acres of Owyhee Resource Area); N RDC v. Morton , 388 F. Supp. 829 (D.D.C. 1974), aff'd w/o opinion 527 F.2d 1386 (D.C. Cir. 1976).

Updated or supplemental NEPA review is required where changed circumstances or "significant new information" arises after earlier NEPA evaluation is made. See Marsh v. ONRC, 490 U.S. 360, 371-74 (1989) (addressing supplementation requirement); Price Road Neighborhood Ass'n v. DOT, 113 F.3d 1505, 1509 (9th Cir. 1997) ("agency's NEPA responsibilities do not end with the initial assessment; supplemental documentation is at times necessary to satisfy the Act's `action-forcing' purpose").

In the 1995 Rescissions Act, Congress directed the Forest Service to “establish and adhere to a schedule for the completion” of NEPA analyses of new grazing permits for “all allotments within the National Forest System unit for which NEPA analysis is needed.” Public Law 104-19, § 504 (1995). Two courts have now held Forest Service in violation of law for not adhering to Rescission Act schedules. Western Watersheds Project v. Sawtooth National Forest, CIV. 01-389-E-BLW (D. Idaho), June 13, 2002 Memorandum Decision and Order; Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. Bosworth, No. 01-1516, 2002 WL 981147 (D.D.C. May 30, 2002).

7. Endangered Species Act: the ESA provides that all federal agencies “shall utilize their authorities. . . by carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered species,” 16 U.S.C. § 1636(a)(1); and “[e]ach Federal agency shall, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency . . . is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species. . . .” 16 U.S.C. § 1536(a)(2). The consultation requirement applies to grazing. Pacific Rivers Council v. Thomas, 936 F. Supp. 738, 745 (D. Idaho 1996). Watch out for Western Watersheds Project v. Matejko, No. CIV 01-0259-E-BLW (D. Idaho) (challenge to Forest Service and BLM failure to consult over 1000 irrigation and stockwater diversion on Salmon Challis National Forests).

Also, “it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to. . . take any such species. . . .” 16 U.S.C. § 1538(a). See IWP v. Bennetts, Civ. No. 00-729 (D. Idaho) (motion for summary judgment filed June 2002).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Opposition to wild horse proposal is misguided

So says a misinformed reporter;

FERC, WH&Bs, & The Big Ruby (Pipeline)

I am having another idea on how to fight this (Calico) gather other than through the courts. I understand that these removals are part of the plans for (is it?) the Ruby Pipeline? If so, that project has to be licenced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) I am familar with this branch of gov't because we live directly across the street from a hydroelectric facility (FERC Project 2616) which also operates under licence from FERC, and you know I am always hollering about the conditions and need for improvements down here at "The Project." When I do holler I holler first at whatever power company happens to he holding the lease at the time, and if they ignore me or give me no concern usually all I have to do to spur them into action is threaten to call "their bosses" at FERC though I never ask them to do anything they are not required to do by the terms of the (52 pg.) lease; see it here on the "Hoosic River Project" page;
Over the 9 yrs I been livin here, I have had to  actually call the FERC-Folk a couple a times, so I do have some contacts with them, though in a different dept I am sure. Anywho, what I am thinking is to find out who is in charge of the Ruby Project at FERC and direct our concern (and request) to them asking them please not to grant a licence to the project if it is dependant upon the declimation of our wild horse herds. We could remind them that those lands are BY STATUTORY LAW "specially designated" principally for wild horse and burro use. .  shall we go on to tell them of all the law suits that are flying and will be flying if the plan goes through without some protections to insure that our wild horse and burro herds are maintained in viable numbers to insure that they will remain free and wild and forever roaming about upon their historic and STATUTORILY designated rangelands? 
I was thinking there are several ways to do this, we could make up one letter but signed by all, or we could do a  petition and pass it around and when we get enough signatures we could send a hard copy, or we could bombard them individually. Ideas?  
----- Original Message -----



§ 3729. False claims

(a) Liability for Certain Acts.— Any person who—
(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of
the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United
States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or
statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;
(3) conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim
allowed or paid;
(4) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be
used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government or willfully to
conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than
the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
(5) authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property
used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government,
makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on
the receipt is true;
(6) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public
property from an officer or employee of the Government, or a member of the Armed
Forces, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or
(7) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or
statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money
or property to the Government,
is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than
$5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the
Government sustains because of the act of that person, except that if the court
finds that—
(A) the person committing the violation of this subsection furnished officials
of the United States responsible for investigating false claims violations with
all information known to such person about the violation within 30 days after
the date on which the defendant first obtained the information;
(B) such person fully cooperated with any Government investigation of such
violation; and
(C) at the time such person furnished the United States with the information
about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative
action had commenced under this title with respect to such violation, and the
person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into
such violation;
the court may assess not less than 2 times the amount of damages which the
Government sustains because of the act of the person. A person violating this
subsection shall also be liable to the United States Government for the costs of
a civil action brought to recover any such penalty or damages.
(b) Knowing and Knowingly Defined.— For purposes of this section, the terms
"knowing" and "knowingly" mean that a person, with respect to information—
(1) has actual knowledge of the information;
(2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
(3) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information,
and no proof of specific intent to defraud is required.
(c) Claim Defined.— For purposes of this section, "claim" includes any request
or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property which is
made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient if the United States
Government provides any portion of the money or property which is requested or
demanded, or if the Government will reimburse such contractor, grantee, or other
recipient for any portion of the money or property which is requested or
(d) Exemption From Disclosure.— Any information furnished pursuant to
subparagraphs (A) through (C) of subsection (a) shall be exempt from disclosure
under section 552 of title 5.
(e) Exclusion.— This section does not apply to claims, records, or statements
made under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Fw: BLM Investigating Possible Shooting Deaths of Wild Horses in Northern Washoe County, Nevada (12-07-2009)

 BLM Investigating Possible Shooting Deaths of Wild Horses in Northern Washoe County, Nevada (12-07-2009)


Monday, December 7, 2009

Court Lamblasts BLMs "New Improved" Grazing Regs

Wonder how this one fared in FINAL disposition.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A June ruling by the Federal District Court of Idaho stopped implementation of new (2006) grazing regulations by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), reports the Wildlife Management Institute.

The BLM, which manages grazing on nearly 160 million acres of public rangeland, with use authorized by approximately 18,000 permits and leases on about 20,600 allotments, claimed that the new regulations would improve grazing management and promote stability of ranching on public lands. To the contrary, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill harshly criticized the agency's process and determined the BLM's new regulations to be in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA).
The new regulations amended 1995 regulations that the livestock industry claimed were too restrictive. The major objectives of the new regulations ostensibly were to improve the agency's working relationships with public land ranchers, conserve rangeland resources and address legal issues while enhancing administrative efficiency. The final regulatory changes were to take effect on August 11, 2006. However, the court immediately enjoined them until thorough judicial review could occur.
In his analysis, Judge Winmill wrote, "[The 2006 regulations] limit public input from the non-ranching public, offer ranchers more rights on BLM land, restrict the BLM's monitoring of grazing damage, extend the deadlines for corrective action, and dilute the BLM's authority to sanction ranchers for grazing violations."
The court specifically cited comments on the new regulations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the agency with which the BLM is required to consult, by virtue of the Endangered Species Act, if land-management changes could have negative impacts on threatened or endangered species. The BLM concluded that its new regulations largely are clarifications of the 1995 regulations or bring those previous regulations into compliance with court rulings. The FWS disagreed, stating that the new regulations would "fundamentally change the way BLM lands are managed temporally, spatially, and philosophically. These changes could have profound impacts on wildlife resources."
In addition, the new regulations ignored an analysis of the BLM's own team of scientists, which concluded that the changes would have a "slow long-term adverse effect on wildlife and biological diversity in general." The court observed that "the BLM moved with extraordinary speed to reject the substantial [interdisciplinary team] criticisms" by publishing the proposed regulations just three weeks after the team's administrative review was received.
Within the new regulations, provisions designed to improve working relationships would have allowed shared title to any range improvements-such as fences, wells, pipelines, etc.-that were constructed under cooperative range improvements agreements. For example, fence lines across public lands would have become essentially private property, calling into question the impacts to access to public lands across the fences. In addition, the regulations would have removed an existing requirement that livestock water rights on BLM land are to be acquired in the name of the United States and not in the permittee's name.
The provisions also focused on using only monitoring data, as opposed to all available data, in determining when a grazing allotment is failing to meet rangeland health standards and extending the deadline for corrective action. The final rule would have given the BLM two years to adopt a new grazing decision after a violation and an additional year to implement the decision. Under the 1995 regulations, BLM is required to take corrective action as soon as practicable but no later than the next grazing year. In addition, if a grazing reduction of more than 10 percent were needed to correct the violation, the new regulations would have allowed the reduction to be phased-in over five years unless the permittee agreed to make the changes in a shorter time period.
In an effort to streamline the public-participation process, the new grazing regulations would have modified the definition of "interested publics" and narrowed the BLM's obligation to consult, cooperate and coordinate with the interested publics. Previously, an individual or group that submitted a written request to be involved in the decision-making process on a specific allotment would be added to the list of "interested publics" and notified of issues concerning the allotment. Under the new regulations, the individual or group would have been dropped from the list if notice was received but no comment provided. In addition, the BLM would no longer have had to consult, cooperate and coordinate with interested publics on adjustments to allotment boundaries, changes in active use, emergency allotment closures, issuance or renewal of individual permits or leases, and issuance of temporary nonrenewable grazing permits and leases. The court ruled that these changes violated NEPA, because the BLM was deemed not to have considered or justified adequately why public participation should be more limited than in the 1995 regulations.
The injunction against the new regulations will be in place until the BLM proceeds with consultation under the ESA and takes the "requisite hard look" at the environmental impacts under NEPA. (jas)

The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009

Nothing in this or any other Act or Law can overide the main provisions of the WFH&B Act of 1971....

Click on title above for full text of OPLMA;

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gov't Investigation Alleges Wrongdoing by BLM

Government Investigation Alleges Wrongdoing By Bureau Of Land Management Employees
Oct 08, 2009, ©Copyright 2009, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Investigators with the U.S. Interior Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) say in a report that they found alleged wrongdoing in the relationships between certain National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and anti-access groups, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.The U.S. Interior Department's OIG referred its findings to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution but was told, according to the OIG report of its investigation, that the law, Lobbying with Appropriated Monies, "has no criminal sanctions associated with it, and thus, declined to prosecute in lieu of administrative action."The OIG then submitted its findings to BLM Director Robert Abbey for appropriate administrative action.The investigation of the employees of the NLCS, which is responsible for conserving nationally significant landscapes, was initiated after BLM officials reviewed documents requested by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and former Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) in July and September of 2008, respectively. When the BLM found documents it believed showed inappropriate relationships with advocacy groups and possible violations of anti-lobbying laws and policies by the NLCS, it referred the matter to the OIG for investigation."Our investigation determined that numerous activities and communication took place between NLCS officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGO), including discussions about the NLCS budget and BLM editing brochures and producing fact sheets for a specific NGO," Mary Kendall, acting inspector general, said in a memorandum to Abbey received Oct. 2. "Our investigative efforts revealed that communication between NLCS and certain NGOs in these circumstances gave the appearance of federal employees being less than objective and created the potential for conflicts of interest or violations of law."We also uncovered a general disregard for establishing and maintaining boundaries among the various entities," Kendall wrote.Specifically, the OIG alleged that a NLCS staff member asked a representative of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to influence legislation before Congress involving the protection of some areas in New Mexico. Federal law bars federal employees from trying to shape legislation.(Bloggers Note: Such as Sen Harry Reid tried to do and IN FACT did do, when he asked Sen Burns to "slip the rider in" for him, that would take away wild horse protections...too late to prosecute?hmmmmm)

The investigation also found, among other things, that NLCS staff helped the NWF edit a brochure that may have been used for lobbying, and NLCS staff may have disclosed BLM budget information to Wilderness Society officials before the information was presented to Congress.In response to the investigation report, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued a release calling the use of government worker time, effort and money to lobby "simply wrong.""The ongoing, explicit, far-reaching coordination between special interest lobbying groups and NLCS staff revealed in this report is troubling," he said. "Reading case after case of lobbyists outsourcing their work to federal employees is unsettling. This inappropriate meddling of private and public lobbying efforts is precisely the sort of thing I warned against before the NLCS legislation was rushed through Congress."The American people deserve to know that government employees, paid for by their hard-earned dollars, are not engaged in lobbying, not playing favorites and not being co-opted by interest groups," he said. "In most cases I believe this is true. However, in this specific instance, certain government officials clearly fell short."The NLCS legislation that made it a permanent agency within the BLM was S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. It was fast-tracked through Congress and then signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2009. The AMA opposed this bill because it would close over 2 million acres of public land to responsible OHV users, and because the legislative process didn't allow for full public comment and debate.To read the full investigative report, go here;

From a press release issued by AMA: PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Investigators with ' (clipped with Yahoo! Toolbar)_final.pdf

To read the congressional letters that initiated the OIG investigation, click:***

About the American Motorcyclist Association: Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.

Click on title above for original article;

BLM Illegally Sells Burros to Military

By Tony Perry

July 7, 2009

Reporting from Bridgeport, Calif. - With 75 pounds of military gear cinched on her furry back, Annie was stubborn the whole way.

The two Marines assigned to her pushed, pulled and sweet-talked her up the steep, twisting trail on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.

"C'mon, girl, you can make it," Lance Cpl. Chad Campbell whispered in her ear.

"Only one more hill," promised Lance Cpl. Cameron Cross as he shoved Annie's muscular hindquarters.

The red-hued donkey snorted, nibbled on grass and let loose that distinctive braying, which begins with a loud nasal inhalation and concludes with an even louder blast of deep-throated protest.

She also dropped green, foul-smelling clumps, which the Marines carefully sidestepped.

On the rocky, uneven path, Annie never stumbled. A good donkey, Marines say, knows three steps ahead where it wants to walk.

For Campbell and Cross, the day with Annie could be a preview of days to come. The two may soon deploy to Afghanistan, where donkeys and mules have been the preferred mode of military transport for centuries -- and remain so.

With the U.S. shifting its focus from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Central Asia, this course on pack animals at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center has become critical to the new mission.

Opened in 1951 to train troops for Korea, the center -- with its administrative buildings, barracks, corrals and an enormous tent for visiting troops -- is set on 47,000 acres of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, where serrated peaks above 10,000 feet are the perfect terrain to teach high-altitude combat skills.

Five donkeys, 24 mules and five sergeant trainers are stationed at the center for the course, which is given eight times a year to Marines, Army soldiers, Navy SEALs and some foreign troops.

Humvees and even helicopters are of limited use in Afghanistan's mountains. There are few roads and the air is thin. But a 1,000-pound mule or 400-pound donkey can easily carry a load one-third its weight -- or more, if necessary.

The weapons of war have changed, but the basics of handling donkeys and mules -- like the sawbuck saddle and packs on Annie -- are not much different from how they were in the time of Genghis Khan.

"It's a very primitive way to carry very modern weapons," said Sgt. Joe Neal, one of the instructors. "But it works."

On the first day of the 12-day course, Campbell, Cross and 40 other junior Marines, all from Camp Pendleton, listened intently at the corral in Pickel Meadows as instructors spoke of battles won with the help of four-footed allies.

One of the Marine Corps' most fabled heroes, Sgt. Maj. Daniel Daly, earned his second Medal of Honor for leading pack animals into combat against Haitian bandits in 1915.

Assigned one of the older, scruffier mules, two of the Marines later insisted the animal must have deployed with Daly.

The students learned to pack machine guns, mortars, grenades, Javelin missiles and M-16 ammunition, as well as food, water and medical supplies -- all needed to carry the fight to the enemy.

"The Taliban are born mountain men, they can move faster in that terrain than we can," said Staff Sgt. Tyler McDaniel, an Iraq war veteran who is now the lead instructor for the course. "The pack animals are a force multiplier. They make sure we can get enough gear and men to the fight."

For some of the Marines here, animals were part of their upbringing. "I'm used to breaking horses, but I'm not used to packing mules," said Pfc. James Moody, 19, of Zavalla, Texas.

But others had no experience. "This is all new to me," said Cpl. Bradley Neuenburg, a 20-year-old computer buff from San Rafael in Northern California. "I'm more used to basic syntax, binary language and codes."

In the beginning, some were tentative with the animals, leery of being kicked and reluctant to take charge. Instructors prowled around the corral as the two-man teams struggled.

"Pull that rope tight," Sgt. Graham Golden told Neuenburg in a voice loud enough to be heard by others having the same difficulty. "You're not going to hurt the mule, and otherwise that load is going to fall off up the mountain."

After several days of learning to handle rope, tie knots and hitches, and pack and balance loads, the students were graded on the knots -- and their demeanor around the animals.

"It's a dying skill that we need to revive," said Sgt. Jerry Meece, 35, a lean, slow-talking native of Lufkin, Texas, who was a rodeo bull rider for a dozen years before enlisting.

The animal packers course dates to the 1980s, when the CIA sent operatives here before they were dispatched to help the Afghans fight the Soviet occupation force. The agency bought several thousand mules for the Afghans to maintain supply lines.

When they reach Afghanistan, the Marines probably will work with donkeys, which are cheaper and more common. A good donkey can be had there for $5.

As the Marines prepared for their first "hump" up the mountain, instruction was intense, laced with an obscenity that is integral to military patois. Golden spotted Pfc. James McGuckin, an 18-year-old from Staten Island, curling a rope around his hand and forearm like a suburbanite wrapping a garden hose for storage.

"Is that the way I taught you to handle ropes?" he bellowed, slamming his clipboard to the ground. "Pay attention to detail! Are you a [expletive] Marine or in the [expletive] Army?"

In combat, said Golden, 27, of Ferndale, Ark., any deviation from training can get Marines killed.

McGuckin froze to attention and carefully placed the rope on the ground. Other Marines watched wordlessly -- seemingly relieved it was someone else who was the object of their teacher's ire.

Later, as he waited in line at the chow hall, McGuckin said he did not mind being bawled out. "Someday, when we're in a fight, we're going to need those animals and those ropes," he said.

The trek up the mountain to a grassy meadow the Marines call LZ (Landing Zone) Penguin came on the fourth day. The rain of previous days had abated, and only a few clouds shielded the Marines and the animals from bright sunshine.

The Marines and animals trudged for more than three hours and three miles up narrow, rock-strewn trails, a climb of about 1,000 feet in altitude.

More arduous journeys would follow in the next eight days. One would test the Marines' ability to use their animals to retrieve U.S. injured and dead from a helicopter crash, with 200-pound dummies called Rescue Randys as faux casualties.

The mules were purchased by the Marines from an outfitter in Montana. The donkeys were rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management from its vast acreage.

The mules -- bigger, sleeker and more cooperative -- led the single-file procession. The donkeys were in back. The Marines devised different strategies for their maiden convoy.

Lance Cpl. Usay Vue, 25, of Fresno, put apples from the chow hall in his backpack. His mule, Gray, could smell the fruit and nosed the pack. He seemed to be imploring Vue with a longing look in his brown eyes.

As they waited in the corral for the order to move out, Vue gave in and fed the mule a slice.

"You be good to me," he whispered in the animal's ear, "and I'll feed you more later."

Vue's partner, Pfc. Tony Chan, 20, of Queens, N.Y., found that their apple system worked well -- maybe too well. Gray wanted to move faster than the column. "He was trying to motivate me, I guess," Chan said.

Pfc. Ilya Ward and Lance Cpl. John Fisher designed a buddy system. One would take the reins while the other ran ahead to rip up clumps of grass to feed their donkey, Jimmy.

"It's a way to keep Jimmy motivated," said Ward, who rode horses in his native Siberia.

On those half a dozen occasions when Annie refused to budge, Campbell and Cross stuck to the dictum drilled into them: Donkeys do not respond well to rough treatment or harsh language.

Sgt. Chad Giles sat on his horse and watched the two 20-year-olds coax and cajole Annie. He urged persistence but admonished against rude language, saying they should talk to her as they would a woman they loved.

Another Marine had trouble summoning up patience as his brownish donkey refused to move, braying its discontent and threatening to bring the convoy to a halt.

"I got the absolute worst [expletive] one of all," cried Pfc. Patrick Burree, 22, of Santa Barbara.

Giles, 25, of Provo, Utah, was not sympathetic. "I told you not to talk to her like that," he said, shaking his head in one of those "some people never learn" gestures.

After a short rest, the donkey moved on its own.

The final push, to about 8,000 feet, was through a grove of pine trees to a meadow the size of several football fields, with a small stream, shade trees and an abundance of sweet grass. A snow-capped peak loomed in the distance.

For the donkeys and the mules -- bred for strength and stamina -- the size of their loads and the steepness of the terrain were no problem. For the Marines, each with a 30-pound pack, they were.

Many were winded and flushed.

"She's OK, but I could be better," admitted Campbell, scratching Annie's chin and patting her sides.

"We wanted a challenge and we got what we asked for," Cross said.

Campbell, of Pleasant Hill, Mo., and Cross, of Altus, Okla., were pleased they had passed the first test. Campbell let Gus, a friend of Annie's, take a bite of an apple -- and then took a bite himself.

"A little bit of donkey slobber never hurt nobody," he said.

Marines rested; animals grazed. The march down would be quicker, easier.

"Now we know we can do it," Cross said, "even when you get a stubborn one."

What they dont tell you is that donkeys in war zones are routinely used as involuntary "suicide bombers"" when they load them up with remote control explosive devices and send them into or plant them in target areas where the explosives are designated blowing the donkey and everything nearby to hell. Guess there is a shortage now of Afganistian donks so they have to import them from the BLM.

Click on title above for original article with pics and video;,0,6183548,full.story