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I have just received this urgent plea from Madeleine Pickens and I am reposting it here. The BLM is attenpting to skirt the public comment period on its intention to continue round-ups by limiting the form through which it will accept comments, and by keeping it absolutely quiet about how to make comments. Regular email and fax will not be considered apparently, but there is no mention of that at the website home page. You must seek out the method to make comments, I have the link below:
Comments must be sent by mail or using a specific form at the BLM website and must be received by AUGUST 3RD!
Below is Madelaine's letter to us all:
Dear Friends and Supporters, Please Act Today! One Week to Send a Letter To Help Create Change for Wild Horses & Burros Obama Administration Asks For Public Comments on Reforming Wild Horse Program and Refuses To Accept Public Comments Via Email - Please Mail Your Letter or Follow the Steps Below Today! Every Letter Counts!
Despite the Obama Administration’s claims that it wants to encourage greater public participation in government, this Administration is creating obstacles for Americans to submit comments on the Wild Horse & Burro program. The Department of Interior released its “Wild Horse & Burro Strategy Development Document” which outlines the Obama Administration’s direction for the program. Instead of making it easier for Americans to submit comments, President Obama’s Interior Secretary has actually eliminated the public’s ability to submit comments via the traditional e-mail and fax methods – we are forced to submit comments in one of two ways:
(1) U.S. postal service or (2) online with SPECIFIC directions below. We have received numerous complaints that people using the online software have had their comments deleted and lost. (j.sea's note: the link to the comments page is absolutely buried at the BLM website.... use this link to find it. Shame on them!)
The address to mail your letter is: Wild Horse & Burro Strategy BLM Washington Office 1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665 Washington DC 20240 Public comments must be received No later than August 3, 2010 – so please be sure to mail it today!
Don’t delay – please don’t let the Interior Department’s attempt to thwart public participation in this important comment period succeed. Also, be sure to sign any local organizations you may represent. Please forward this to other likeminded individuals that would like to send a letter of their own before the August 3rd deadline as well. Here are a few points to make in your letter:
* The BLM must place an immediate moratorium on removing horses from the range except in emergency situations (i.e. severe droughts and other natural catastrophes)
* It’s time for the BLM to initiate an aggressive sterilization program using immunocontraception [link] to stabilize and manage wild horse herds in a humane, effective, cost-beneficial manner.
* The BLM must honor its previous commitment to care for these animals and work with organizations and agencies to develop humane, sustainable programs for managing these animals on the range and in holding centers.
* Viable populations of wild horses and burros should be allowed to roam free on our public lands, and if need be, managed using humane, long-term, cost-beneficial methods, such as immunocontraception.
How to submit your comments on the BLM website: The BLM is only accepting comments via a specific form on its website. It will take a few steps to submit your comments, but it is essential that your voice be heard. Follow these steps:
1. Go to the planning document » Planning Document
2. Click on this text (in blue) near the top center of the page: “Click Here to Submit Comments.”
3. A new page will open. Type your comments in the text box (you can ignore the Selected Content and Comment Title sections). When you’re finished, click “Add Comment”
4. The page will appear again. The text box will be blank, but the “Comments” section at the bottom will show the number “1” under “Comment id.” Click the “Next” button on the bottom right.
5. Fill in your personal information and click “Next.“
6. Review your submission, and click “Submit” at the bottom right. A “Submission Successful” page will appear.
To send comment by mail: Please use this prewritten letter as a template. Just copy and paste the text below into a Word Document and add your own thoughts. Fax and general emails are NOT being accepted. Mail immediately to:
Wild Horse & Burro Strategy Document BLM Washington Office 1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665 Washington DC 20240 July , 2010
To whom it may concern: The following are my comments on the Department of Interior’s “Wild Horse & Burro Strategy Development Document.” As per the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) announcement on June 14, 2010 in Denver, Colorado, these comments are being submitted via the BLM’s Washington office. The Denver meeting was touted as a means to open public dialogue on the BLM’s management of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, yet since that meeting there has been no response to the overwhelming public opposition to the Bureau’s actions.
If the BLM is sincere in its desire to work with the public, a moratorium on roundups must be effectuated in order to develop a sustainable program that manages horses and burros on the range. I am disappointed with the Obama Administration’s policy of pursuing the same ill-conceived Bush-Administration policies that remove wild horses from our public lands at an unprecedented pace. Despite Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s admission that this policy is unsustainable, the Administration is in the process of removing 6,000 additional wild horses and burros before the end of October 2010.
This Administration has conducted little to no management of wild horses and burros on the range and has consistently rounded up, removed and warehoused horses at the expense of taxpayers and wild horses. As a result, for the first time in history, there are more wild horses warehoused in government holding facilities than free on the range. Below are my comments on the Strategy Document.
TOPIC: Treasured Herds * Every herd is treasured; I oppose how the BLM is interpreting the term because it involves manipulation and micromanagement. Congress already determined that every herd is treasured.
TOPIC: Preserves - I urge an immediate moratorium on roundups to prevent creating need for more preserves. - Preserves must not replace on-the-range management and should only be used to phase out long- and short-term holding. - I support using the authority the BLM always had to re-establish horses in zeroed-out HAs and HMAs. - I support commitment to not killing horses deemed “excess” and “unadoptable.” - Preserves should only be located in western states. - Preserves must strive to maintain the social integrity of wild horse herds, allowing horses to live in more natural conditions instead of the current imposition of domestic conditions on horses who are still designated as “wild” under the law. -- Support private-public partnerships, but BLM must immediately pursue Soldier Meadows, Winecup Gamble, Madeleine Pickens and similar proposal now on the table to reduce long- and short-term holding.
TOPIC: Sustainable Herds - The concept of sustainable herds is based on the arbitrary AML system which is based on unfair allocation practices and incomplete, faulty range data by BLM’s own admission. - I urge an immediate moratorium on roundups until a sustainable, solid plan is established. -- Only if proven necessary, I support fertility control with caveats. - I oppose castration and spaying of horses and non-reproducing herds on the range. - I oppose utilizing sex ratios to manage herds. - I support increasing available forage through livestock allotment conversion to wild horses.
TOPIC: Adoptions - I oppose reducing adoption requirements. - Adoption programs should not be modified to accommodate financial incentives. - I support exceptions can be made for international adoption only with bonafide humane association with authority to guarantee well being of horses. - I oppose BLM’s double standard of care requirements for adopters and short-term facilities.
TOPIC: Animal Welfare - BLM must have complete transparency; I strongly object to the lack of transparency and support equal opportunity for all to participate - not only those invited by the BML, but for all public members to participate in internal BLM meetings, public observations and be given access to information. - Interested members of the public must be allowed at all aspects of range monitoring, aerial counts, roundups and all holding facilities - must not be limited to specific individuals or organizations – must be representational and fair.
TOPIC: Science and Research - Currently the BLM does not have the science or research needed to manage this program; BLM acknowledges it’s lacking in this area. - All gathering of information/data (i.e. census, etc) must be done with independent public observers or utilizing video technology to provide documentation to the public. - A National Academy of Science (NAS) report must make a fresh and comprehensive review of the foundation of the BLM’s program – beginning with the scientific/legal basis for the establishment of Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs), the utilization of on-the-range management options, the environmental assessment process, operations of BLM as a whole and by field office, etc. This Strategy Document is based on a flawed foundation given that the Salazar initiative does not represent the fundamental reform that is needed. While I agree with portions of the initiative, it is premature to forward to Congress.
Actions speak louder than words. BLM talks about change, but actions suggest business as usual: * 6,000 horses scheduled for roundup and removal before the end of October. Deepening the fiscal black hole. * Proposals on the table offering a new direction and cost-effective solutions. Bob Abbey invites proposals from the public then ignores them. * National office talks reform; field offices continue business as usual policies.
I urge the BLM to immediately place a moratorium on roundups and schedule public hearings to create a program that protects and manages horses on the range, rather than warehousing them in government holding facilities.
Sincerely, ________________________________________________________ (first and last name & organization) _________________________________________________________ (complete mailing address)