Petition Delivered at Nevada BLM Statewide Resource Advisory Council Meeting Today
Sparks, NV (February 26, 2015) . . . Today at the meeting of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Statewide Tri-Resource Advisory Council (RAC), the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) will present a petition signed by more than 13,000 American citizens – whose signatures were collected in just four days – endorsing the use of proven birth control (PZP) to humanely manage wild horses on the range, as an alternative to traumatic roundups and removals of wild horses from the wild. The petition signers are also asking RAC members to recommend that that wild horses and burros receive a fairer share of resources on the small amount of land designated as their habitat in Nevada.
“America’s public lands should not be managed for a handful of people but rather for all citizens,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC communications director. “Americans overwhelmingly support giving wild horses and burros a fairer share of our public resources and using PZP birth control to humanely manage these iconic animals on the range.”
“The use of birth control, in the form of the PZP vaccine, was recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, and is in line with public opinion and taxpayer interests,” Bolbol observed. “The fact that over 13,000 citizens signed this petition in just four days is testimony to the strength of public support for this humane management option.”
AWHPC’s comments and the 13,000+ signatures endorsing them will be presented today during the public comment period, which begins at 3:30 p.m. The meeting is being held at the Nugget, 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, NV. Sheila Schwadel of the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates will present the comments on behalf of AWHPC.
The full text of AWHPC’s comments can be seen here.
The Nevada statewide Tri-RAC has in its jurisdiction all 45 million acres of BLM-managed lands in the state of Nevada. There are 83 wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the state. Although ranchers and others claim that wild horses and burros are overpopulating, the reality is that mustangs and burros roam on just 14.7 million acres of BLM land in Nevada versus livestock, which graze on 44.9 million acres of BLM land in the state.
Of the 20.9 million acres of sage grouse habitat in Nevada, livestock is present on 18.4 million acres, while wild horses and burros are present on only 6.3 million acres of sage grouse habitat in the state.
There are 8 times more cattle than wild horses on the 20.9 million acres of identified sage grouse habitat in Nevada where both wild horses and livestock roam.
“Two-thirds of BLM land grazed by livestock in Nevada is not inhabited by wild horses or burros, so conflicts between ranchers and mustangs and burros can be resolved,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC director. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together on solutions, and we’re asking this Tri-RAC to take a leadership role in recommending humane and common sense reform.”
In October 2014, the BLM Northeastern Nevada RAC recommended that the BLM implement PZP fertility control on a wide scale in the state in an effort to reduce the roundup, removal and stockpiling of horses by the BLM. The agency currently warehouses more wild horses in holding facilities (nearly 50,000) than remain free on the range (under 40,000).
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 70 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.
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