“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” — Aldo Leopold
Interesting is the fact that when we discuss the subject of Wild Horses on Public Lands, and their rights to be there, we discover surprising results. What we discover is that government agencies, the Department of the Interior as well as its subordinate agency, the Bureau of Land Management — simply ignore Law.
Ironic, since we consider ourselves to be a Nation of Laws. This ideology is what creates our social-civility as well as humane interactions with others and conduct through our life. These two agencies mentioned here, indeed ignore Congressional mandates that limit, and even prohibit particular management situations of America’s Wild Horses. We can determine from this that indeed, it prohibits the humane and even the ethical treatment of our nation’s Wild Horse Herds, favoring commercialism, the placement of too many cattle onto Public Lands, only for short term profits instead. And yet . . .
Laws directly related to humane and ethical conduct
Recently, the profound interest and use of PZP on America’s Wild Horses, is a fact of misinterpretation as well as misinformation leading to such a drastic measure. The misleading and false information that we have only “limited options” and that such a drastic measure as unorthodox breeding-control is acceptable remains troublesome to many. Lies and bad conduct, mixed with government intrusion upon America’s wild life often is of unscrupulous, certainly debatable, and by many considered mismanagement.
No options? Really? Within a profound context, and simply a light perusal of our laws governing America’s Public Lands, and that includes America’s Wild Horses, we easily locate a chest full with good and robust options for the correct management of our Wild Horses as well as our Public Lands.
Not so ironic, all we have to do is go by several laws already established to manage our Public Lands, which indeed creates diversity as well – I mention this as when we discuss Public Lands, the discussion actually centers around this same diversity of use. When knowledgeable of the subject, yes combating ignorance at high levels of government always an extraordinary experience to say the least, we find many laws quite compatible with not only Public Land Management usage, diversity, but quite receptive to and compatible with Wild Life, to include Wild Horses.
In reality that the lands and resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management can best be—and must be—sustainably managed for the American people under the conservation mandate set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). Other Laws do exist, and support one another within this same capacity, i.e. NEPA, the Taylor Grazing Act, and so forth . . . and very similar is sustainability and biodiversity methodology and putting ideology toward common sense solutions and workable resolutions.
The Multiple Use and Sustained Yield direction given within FLPMA requires government agencies to be competent, objective, restrain themselves toward professional management (compared to current and unsatisfactory criminal behavior and special interest only endeavors), and to work with well informed responsible public land users. It involves a multitude of resources, uses, and issues perhaps toward equitable resolution, all with major environmental, social and economic consequences . . .
Why is there conflict? The major cause is the misinterpretation of Laws that already exist. The attempts to misinform the American Taxpaying Public, then base pertinent decisions on this misinformation, conclusively generates not only bad management, but spending of taxpayer money, pretty much wasted in total – one can say BLM employees irresponsibly frivolous with so much taxpayer money.
FLPMA, for example, has set forth four broad principles, which we all believe should guide BLM. These four principles: Renewability, Adaptability, Stewardship, and Equity, if diligently adhered to in the policy, during the development of plans, and daily on-the-ground decision making in conformity with the FLPMA mandate, can precisely result in the lands and resources of Public Lands being truly sustainable.
Misinformation and disruptive special interest priorities have made void these very precise principles and, least we not forget, Law; thereby, we can say this government agency, the BLM, has indeed ignored the law, favoring short-term profit over good management.
There is criminal behavior involved in the ignoring of this law as well, when we consider budgets and procurement policies set aside, in particular from fraudulent information in the matters of decisions to provide financing for such knowingly misguided and misinformed conduct. One has got to wonder about PZP, and if a thorough research of the drug, a pesticide, would have been enough for the approval to responsibly Procure using taxpayer money. Evidence shows it was procured, despite the many regulatory situations leading to Procurement that were indeed ignored, or even waived (?) — the situation to purchase violated not only regulatory situations, but Laws as well, both in Procurement and in FLPMA – there is no Long-Term studies available (as noted in the EPA application) that are applicable to the pesticide safety within such environments as Public Lands, or any environmental circumstances other than captivity . . . for that matter. This is very serious within itself.
Then we can also go to the very real situation of Environmental Assessments, for example, are not in accord with FLPMA or the intent what so ever – to manage Public Lands appropriately and by law. Further perusal of such items as EA’s or the use of PZP by a government agency, and we also discover several Procurement regulatory situations as well as Laws broken . . . fraudulent behavior, which is nothing more than to supply a government agency with false or misleading information to obtain taxpayer money.
Defining Multiple Use
“The term “multiple use” means the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and nonrenewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with consideration being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.
The term “sustained yield” means 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.”
It is simply time for Ethical Ingenuity and Behavior
Aldo Leopold wrote brilliantly about what is needed to achieve an ethical relationship with land. What stewardship requires, he pointed out is an intense consciousness of land. His concept of a “land ethic” is undeniably necessary for us to achieve sustainability for our public lands and resources. What we all must do, he said, is to, “Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
Sustainable development balance is relatively easy de novo, but what happens when sustainable management decisions negatively impact the expectations and benefits deriving from precedent social and economic values and uses of public lands and resources?
The answer to that question usually involves bureaucratic mandates, political trumpery and litigation. The principle of equity means that sustainability for the public lands can not come about overnight, rather it requires a fair and orderly process over sufficient time to reasonably adjust historical expectations and accommodate the social and economic changes concomitant with that adjustment. This will require longer term thinking than public land agencies usually apply (unfortunately never apparently exceeding four years).
A very strong reality, the fact that BLM conduct should be predicated in accord with law, rather than ignoring and generating questionable situations and many situations even contrary to law, would make the Public Lands landscape superior just from attritional aspects – basically doing the right things to manage our Public Lands . . .
By the same token, the sustainability principle of equity requires adequate reimbursement in support of Public Land Management in return for the profits and benefits made possible through the use of those lands and public resources. This process must account for and assure to the Public Lands appropriate reimbursement for the external costs of public land and resource uses.
Addressing this principle will require a change in historic laws and policies such as the Mining Law of 1872 and grazing fees where a responsible market value of the resources taken is not presently returned to the public to pay the costs of Public Land Management. These factors also control the usage, rather than random use and unorthodox welfare ranching practice of receiving subsidies for nothing, other than high-profits – the American Taxpayer receives nothing (zero) even though paying these high subsidies to welfare ranchers where they purchase planes, new RV’s, Boats, their kids to college, mansions, pools, and we are stuck with their bills.
Biodiversity — Sustainability
Biodiversity can simply be defined as the variation of life at a given site or ecosystem. However, it is through this diversity that natural systems adapt, evolve, and thrive. This link is so strong that the term biodiversity is regarded as synonymous with ecosystem health. Diverse ecosystems usually have “increased stability, increased productivity, and resistance to invasion and other disturbances.” It is these features that make biodiversity desirable within a given biological community/biome. Most importantly, biodiversity holds enormous value for the entire planet!
Reality within Conclusion
Many of us find it disturbing that DOI / BLM misinterpret, and on many occasions even ignore America’s Laws in regard to Public Lands Management. The astounding fact is the BLM is a cirrupt government agency, where they represent commercialist endeavors, and to hell with all else – and that includes human and wildlife – the ethics and morals of this government agency can be well-defined as — Having None!
The PZP situation, ignoring of Environmental Assessments, taxpayers covering the cost of horses being stolen from BLM inventory and sent to slaughter, the corrupt Welfare Ranching Program, and on and on. . . Illegal? Absolutely! Being done? Yes, and well confirmed by not only observation and witnesses, but BLM’s own government paperwork. Can Public Lands survive? Only if the laws, policy, and regulatory aspects of land management, already in place and perfectly functional, are used.
The fact is the BLM is the most litigated government agency in American History – not because of land-litigations, but because the BLM ignores current laws and policies they are directed to obey. Restructuring and ridding the BLM of many current employees, many criminals, can indeed make it a superior agency – but the way it is now, it is absurd and a waste of taxpayer money – Wild Horses depend on us, just as our environment – and nothing can survive the ever present and current criminal behavior that exists right now, and within the BLM / DOI.
FLPMA PDF Document — http://www.blm.gov/or/regulations/files/FLPMA.pdf
O&C Lands Act of 1937 (PDF)
General Mining Laws (overview only, actual legislation in the future)
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended through 1/2006 (PDF)
Leopold, Aldo, “A Sand County Almanac.” Oxford University Press. 1949.
The Tragedy of the Commons is a dilemma in which multiple individuals acting independently in their own self interest can ultimately destroy a shared resource even where it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long term interest for this to happen. (Hardin, Garrett,
“The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science. 1968. Wikipedia.) http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/veg_measure/Modules/Lessons/Module%207/7_2_Biodiversity.htm