On March 27th, 2016, President Trump signed a congressional resolution directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to repeal their Planning 2.0 Rule. BLM Planning 2.0 was a broad scale land conservation plan designed to keep industries that use our public rangelands in check. It was implemented by the BLM in 2016 as part of an effort to improve their management of our nation’s public lands and the way Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are managed and updated.
BLM Planning 2.0 held back large scale agribusiness and other environmentally destructive big business industries from destroying the land and habitats that our horses, many endangered species and even ourselves call home. It also provided for easier access for the American public to provide more meaningful participation and involvement in the planning process for the management of our nation’s public lands. The proposed changes supported the BLM’s shift to science-based, landscape-scale approaches to resource management, while increasing opportunities for early engagement by state and local government, Tribes, partner agencies, stakeholders, and the public.
This signing of a resolution to repeal BLM Planning 2.0 shows that our Government is directly ignoring conservation and ecological evaluations and input in this management process, and has chosen to remove stakeholder, local and public input from these planning decisions. What this means is large scale agribusiness and big business ventures will now have more say over the use of your public land, natural resources and species management than you will have as a taxpaying citizen. It also gravely puts our wild horse nation at further and immediate risk. To highlight this statement further, Wyoming rancher and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) member Joel Bousman attended the White House for the signing as well as Ethan Lane; executive director of NCBA Federal Lands. Lane applauded the President’s action calling it “a significant victory for western ranchers.” This is a chilling statement, as Wyoming is a state notoriously infamous for its move to eradicate wild horses entirely from its public rangelands. The BLM is heavily persuaded by the livestock industry in that state.
In fact, 2014 BLM and USFS livestock grazing receipts ($17.1 million) show the equivalent of 2.1 million cattle outnumbering 56,656 federally protected wild horses and burros (WHB) by 37:1 on our nation’s public rangelands. These privately-owned livestock are allocated 97% of western forage on all 251 million acres. This is compared to 3 percent allocated to 56,656 wild horses and burros occupying just 29.4 million acres. (2) Studies also show cattle, not horses, as the focus of considerable research on domestic overgrazing and a major cause of global climate change.
Taxpayer-funded livestock grazing on public lands costs more than $132 million dollars per year. Yet only 3% of America’s beef supply comes from these cattle. (1) This is not small mom and pop cattlemen, these are large scale agribusiness ventures ran by the 1% of the wealthiest Americans in the country. While a quiet war wages on between the state and our wild horses and public rangelands; these big business interests will continue to profit as simultaneously, our habitats are exploited and our ecological balance and humanity diminish. Profits have been chosen over the protection and preservation of our precious places and people.
This boils down to the grave question… if our Government is not concerned for the protection, preservation and value of our natural species and resources, then who will be? It is up to you as the American public to fight to take back the stewardship of our nation’s public lands, resources and species. Part of protecting wild horses mean protecting their habitat and the environment as a whole.
Remember, by ensuring wild horses remain wild and free on our public rangelands we help to conserve diminishing western territories and natural resources and contribute to the protection of our natural ecosystems for generations to come.
You need to speak up! Tell your Representatives that you think rangeland health assessments and appropriate monitoring of user impacts are necessary for maintaining a thriving ecological balance and are necessary to better understand the multiple potential impacts when diverse groups of animals are present on our public landscape. Demand a planning process that balances the needs of livestock ranchers and western communities that depend on the use of BLM lands with the innate rights of the sacred indigenous species that inhabit those landscapes. Take back your right as a taxpaying citizen to be involved in the overall management of our nation’s consumption choices. Tell them that you want to ensure a sustainable ecological future for all who call this great nation home and not just an economical one! The freedom of our Country and ourselves is dependent upon it.
About CANA Foundation
CANA Foundation’s mission is to responsibly restore an ecological balance in our environment through specific rewilding initiatives. These projects support harmony between the humans, plants, and animals that inhabit U.S. rangelands and focus on the restoration of our land’s native habitats through natural resources and indigenous species, like America’s wild horses. CANA initiatives work towards long-term, sustainable solutions that prevent further land degradation, protect and preserve wild horse populations, and encourage a beneficial, thriving ecosystem for today and tomorrow.
Contact CANA Foundation: PO Box 674, Locust Valley, NY 11560 or [email protected]Donate to CANA Foundation
It is up to us, American citizens, to contact our elected representatives of government and let them know how we feel about the issues. Use a service like GovTrack.us to find your local representatives and make your voice heard.Visit GovTrack.us
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- American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (28 March, 2017). Retrieved from http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org
- Daily Pitchfork (Nov. 2015). BLM and USFS Livestock Grazing Stats. Retrieved from http://dailypitchfork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/BLM_USFS-grazing-analysis_2014_Daily-Pitchfork.pdf