An Open Letter to the BLM Regarding their Consent Decree with the RSGA

To Whom It May Concern… Oh yeah, Nobody In the BLM Concerns Themselves With the WY Wild Horses
Dear Bureau of Land Management,

I am writing this letter to issue my congratulations. You fought really hard against the Rock Springs Grazing Association when they brought the most recent in a never-ending string of lawsuits demanding the removal of the thousands of wild horses who live in the regions where the RSGA lease public & private lands. Wait? What’s that? Oh, sorry I guess I must have confused you with a government agency that has a pair.

What I should say is congratulations on giving the RSGA everything they wanted. But then, you would do that, wouldn’t you BLM? Once upon a time the BLM supported wild horses against the RSGA. You didn’t like the wild horses back then either, of course, but that pesky Wild Horse & Burro Act forced you to pretend that you did. Good thing we can ignore that today! It is so much easier to allocate millions of tax dollars to remove all these animals under your protection than to uphold the law, isn’t it?

Now I can pay even more in taxes! Thank you, BLM! I really do have too much spare change sitting around in my bank account, and the government can clearly use it much better than I could. I’ve been meaning to go on a diet, anyway. Taking away more of my hard-earned money that I could use for food and rent will really help me lose a few pounds. I get to pay for the roundup, the storage and feeding of these horses while they ruminate in feedlots for the rest of their natural lives, and the administration costs for the livestock ranchers to keep leasing the public land in this area. It’s my lucky day! You absolutely correct that the RSGA could not possibly afford to pay for the program costs themselves. After all, they graze their animals for 6.75% of the cost that my family members pay to graze livestock on private land. That’s rough. I just don’t know how they would survive without my tax dollars supporting their lifestyle.

You should also be very proud of yourselves for agreeing to remove horses that are not located in the checkerboard pattern of these horse herds. Why bother removing most of the horses in the Great Divide Basin when you take them all off in one go? Why should all those northern horses in Great Divide Basin living solely on public rangeland be allowed to stay where they are while their brothers and sisters to the South are annihilated?

I also think it is really cute that you are letting the RSGA get away with accusing wild horses of being the primary cause of rangeland degradation. Those 250-600 horses that roam around White Mountain & Little Colorado do way more damage than the thousands of cattle, elk and deer who migrate en masse, and the gazillions of pronghorn that also utilize the resources of the area. They’re right. It’s the horses fault. How wise of you to recognize that and not waste any of our time by researching or using science to come to such a conclusion.

At this point, you may thinking that what I am saying is not fair. You are not removing all the horses, after all! You are right. I am so sorry to mislead. Some White Mountain horses do get to stay, and all they have to do for this marvelous privilege is genital mutilation. Some of the mares may even survive the spaying process. Nice work on the negotiations on that one. It would be a true travesty if Sweetwater County’s economy had to lose the money that herd brings through tourism. I’m sure the fact that the “wild” herd you plan to keep there will no longer display any wild horse behaviors (save a healthy fear of humans) won’t hurt that tourism one bit. After all, tourists are idiots, right? They won’t know the difference between wild horses and a bunch of geldings chilling out in castrated bliss.

Now, I think that even a government official should be able to tell that everything I’ve written so far has been laced with heavy-handed sarcasm. Actually, is that too much to expect? We are talking about government employees, after all.

One last thing, though, and I promise this paragraph will be both sincere and serious. This is not over yet. You still have to go through the NEPA process. I can’t tell you how excited I am for that to be released. I do hope you are prepared for what will come after the decision record drops because wild horse advocates like me are going to bring it. We will not let you and your good buddies in the RSGA get away with this.

Thanks for Nothing Assholes,
Rachel A. Reeves

Removed 2011

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Edit: If the above post makes no sense to you (Hi Briton!) then please read this link for context of what the BLM is agreeing to do: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/news-events-and-media/press-releases/328-federal-court-sanctions-gov-t-plans-to-eliminate-wild-free-roaming-horses-from-wyoming-checkerboard